Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

June 13, 2013

From circus to sleep tech

Local couple doubles up at NECC graduation

Staff Reports
The Andover Townsman

---- — 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.

In addition to the Cavallaros, Andover residents who graduated from Northern Essex last month include:

Christopher Abreu, associate in science, criminal justice with honors

Julie M. Benjamin, associate in science, business management with honors

Kimberly A. Croteau, associate in science, engineering science with high honors

Randall S. Deemie, associate in science, nursing with honors

Terry M. Dowell, associate in science, computer information sciences; information technology option with high honors; certificate in computer networking with high honors

Jareth R. Harkins, certificate in law enforcement and associate in science, criminal justice

Michelle W. Holbrook, associate in arts, liberal arts, psychology option

Matthew J. Huggins, associate in arts, general studies with high honors

Zachary G. Jachimowicz, associate in arts, liberal arts

Robert E. Jennings, associate in science, accounting with honors

Stuart R. Ladd, associate in science, computer information sciences, information technology option

Marion E. LaMark, associate in science, early childhood education

Andrew W. Lyman, associate in science, engineering science with high honors

Aja R. Nicholson, associate in science nursing

Kevin T. O’Brien, associate in science, computer information sciences, applications option with high honors; certificate in computer applications with high honors

Haidee V. Orrall, associate in arts, general studies with honors

Thomas J. Pedulla, associate in arts, liberal arts, biology option with honors

Richard S. Pesaturo, certificate in medical assistant with high honors

Sarah M. Quinn, associate in arts, liberal arts

Katarzyna Sakiewa, certificate in medical assistant with high honors

Summer M. Steffen, certificate in dental assisting with high honors

Anatoli Tomaszczuk, associate in science, business transfer