Michael Cavallaro already had three college degrees and had traveled the world with the Ringling Bros. Circus when he and his wife enrolled in Northern Essex Community College’s Sleep Technology Program.
But it was a winding road that led the Cavallaros to NECC and culminated with he and his wife, Wilma, receiving certificates at the college’s graduation on May 18.
The Andover native had degrees in communications, radio and television, and marketing when he found himself unemployed. So with no job tying him down, the guitarist by avocation headed to Hollywood where he taught guitar for a while. He earned enough to survive, but wasn’t making enough to pay off his college debt.
So, Cavallaro again hit the road, this time driving tractor-trailers, which earned him enough money to begin paying off his college loans. Eventually, he made his way to Orlando, Fla., where he worked in staging. That led him to a position with Ringling Bros., and he went on to hold numerous management positions with the circus company that had him traveling the world.
When he met his wife, an immigrant from the Philippines, Cavallaro decided it was time to settle down back in the Northeast and the couple soon came to Andover. While Wilma Cavallaro was becoming a U.S. citizen, her husband was dealing with sleep issues.
During a formal sleep study, he met with a sleep technologist, who talked up the NECC Sleep Technology Program as well as the industry in general. After researching the program, both Michael and Wilma Cavallaro enrolled.
The Cavallaros, who completed the sleep technology program with high honors, were two of more than 1,500 graduates to earn associate degrees and certificates at the 2013 NECC graduation.
Now, with their certificates in hand, the husband and wife are preparing to sit for the national exam. Soon, they hope to relocate to Utah or Nevada, where they expect to find positions in the sleep technology field.