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About Mike - Why We Do This

Mike Dappolone was a father, husband, son, brother, uncle, Eagle Scout and highly respected educator in South Jersey. The lives he impacted are too many to count, yet each one was changed just by knowing him.



Raised in Cherry Hill and a graduate of West Class of 1995, Mike attended Stevens Institute of Technology and obtained a degree in Chemical Engineering. However, the private sector didn’t suit Mike, and it was his transition to education that ultimately became his life’s calling. Mike taught physical science at Cherry Hill East for 9 years, where he was affectionately called “Dapp” by students and colleagues alike. He played an active role in the community at East where he was an advisor to the student government and Mr. East competition, and a coach for the bowling team. Mike’s personality echoed through the hallways, where he lovingly teased everyone whether they were in his class or not. If Mike ever gave you a nickname, it meant he liked you. 

During this time, he obtained a Master of Chemistry Education from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a Certificate of School Leadership, also from UPenn. Mike again made another career transition in 2013, moving to the administration of Haddon Township Public Schools. As their K-12 Supervisor of Instruction Mike assisted in the oversight and implementation of Haddon Township's instructional program.  This included helping to develop and enact effective curriculum, evaluating staff, supervising the student assessment program, and analyzing achievement data.

While Mike would be the first to tout these professional achievements, there was nothing that made him more proud than his family. He married his high school sweetheart, Kristie, a fellow teacher, and together they had two children, Julian and Addison. As a family they enjoyed vacations to Disney World, summers at the local swim club, and simple moments at home. So much of Mike is evident in his children, from his sense of humor to his hatred for vegetables, and their strength over the past couple of years is to be admired. 

It’s still hard to believe that someone larger than life is no longer with us. Mike lost his battle with colon cancer at age 39, leaving an unfinished legacy of hopes and dreams, both professional and personal. Dapp Inspired picks up where Mike left off. Established in his name, this organization continues the pursuit for Mike’s passions in the sciences and education, touching as many lives as possible along the way. 

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