Stephen Rodas…. Making HIS-story
by Cate Murway
Red Sox fan, “die hard to this day”, Stephen [meaning “victorious”] Patrick Rodas, BHS ‘16 has attested firmly since the sixth grade, that he likes social studies best. His role model is his historian uncle, Bret D. Werner, the author of First Special Service Force 1942 – 44. Steve’s Uncle Bret is the Bristol High School Social Studies Department Chair who teaches AP European History, European History and History through Film.
Steven’s favorite subject is still History and he is avidly working on making HIS-story now.
“I have loved history from the day I was born. It is a passion for me.”
This Fall, Steve will be attending PSU, gearing toward a Political Science “Poli Sci” degree. This degree provides excellent background for students wanting to develop an in-depth understanding and engage in the analysis of domestic politics, the politics of other nations, and political theory.
His potential ultimate goal is to pursue a career in Government service.
Thomas Francis Shaffer, Ed. D., Bristol Borough Schools Superintendent/ Secondary Principal has known Stephen for many years. “He is a very positive and influential student leader.”
Dr. Shaffer selected Steve, along with another senior, Olivia Onal to be Student Delegates. They represent the student body and present reports on current BHS activities at the School Board meetings.
“He is excellent; very involved with politics, an advocate for the students, speaking on their behalf. Steve wants a career in government and this is a good starting point for him.”
Steve, technically “head school spirit”, is ranked in the top 10% of his class. With his solid scholastic base and his unwavering commitment to distinction, he impacts those around him in many ways.
He has worked on campaigns for presidential hopefuls in the Borough, stuffing envelopes and packets, and even volunteering his service as the phone bank coordinator. On Historic Bristol Days, he invested his time in a fun and enlightening way for the many visitors. He assisted with guided tours in the elegant Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Museum, describing rooms that have been appointed as if the Grundy family has just stepped out for the afternoon. He has donned a quite different hat while he helped serve lunches to the music legend performers hosted for the Annual Doo- Wop concert.
He and his sister/partner-at-times, Nina Francesca Rodas had dabbled in entrepreneurship with “lemonade stands” in front of their former Jefferson Street home. They learned about quality control, inventory control, and “controlling the crowds”.
This summer, he will continue to be a “Ride Host” at Sesame Place, a children's theme park in Langhorne. A typical day at work consists of smiles. “It will be my third season. I love my job. I meet people from all over.”
School extracurricular activities include some sport, but a lot of music.
He maintains a low 100 average for Coach Pete Deluca on the BHS JV Bowling team. “It’s fun!”
But he was “very glad that Bristol brought back music. The band was cut and that was very devastating to me.” Jason Molden is the Bristol Borough Instrumental Music Director.
Steve plays trumpet, piano, drums, sax and bass.
He was exposed to music at a very young age by his grandmother, Angela [Ennis] Zenzel, a now retired BHS English teacher who owned a piano and always encouraged him. She introduced him to the Classics and the works of Italian Baroque composer Antonio Lucio Vivaldi; Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky; and one of the most famous and influential of all, German composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
He considers himself most fortunate to have received piano lessons from the multi-talented and versatile Gloria Galante, Professor, director and creator of the Harp Program at WCU College of the Visual and Performing Arts. The Bristol Township resident teaches harp and piano lessons.
Gloria complimented Steve, “He is a great Bristol guy and a great musician. He does a lot for the school and the community. He shares his gift.” Her husband, Fred Vandenberg, Jr. taught Stephen guitar.
He has performed with Gloria in evening concert sessions at the Silver Lake Nature Center.
“Music brings out the best in me. It’s a self-expression tool. And I write music… there are amps and recording equipment in my basement,” Steve shared.
His Instrumental Major class prepares him and his classmates for Christmas and school concerts.
Their BHS “Movie Theme” Spring Concert is scheduled for May 4th. The band will perform some of the most popular and recognizable film scores. Steve’s personal favorites are John Toner Williams’ “Star Wars” theme, and “Pirates of the Caribbean” pieces written and composed by German composers Klaus Badelt and Hans Florian Zimmer.
There are 6 students in the BHS band and Steve finds this “fun to do”!
Art is a “family affair.” His great Uncle was the late renowned artist/sculptor/photographer, U.S. Army Corporal Joseph Edward Pavone, who was also a pretty accomplished accordion player. Steven has participated in Bristol Art Shows, one while he was in sixth grade, but he admitted, “I am not the greatest artist; not even stick figures.”
Stephen’s mother, Maribeth [Ennis] Rodas, BHS ’88 had shared,” Funny thing is my cousin is Joe Ennis and John Ennis and Joe Pavone is my uncle!! Stephen's got good genes!!”
Although he may possess considerable creative and artistic talents, chances are that he will choose to devote himself to an occupation that shows genuine concern for the betterment of the community.
P.S. Stephen shares his birth date with Barack Obama, 44th and current US President, as well as the late “Satchmo”, trumpeter Louis Armstrong [1901 – 1971] one of the most influential jazz artists.
Knowledge liberates one and those who learn about a myriad of subjects are able to develop their own unique philosophy and decide what works for them.
Stephen’s world is filled with many cool opportunities!
History is seeing the past through the eyes of today and HIS-story has only just begun.
Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
"Wonderful story about a truly talented and special young man-- and I'm not just saying that because he's my cousin! Congratulations, Stephen! You've already done great things and will go on to do many more. Love ya!"
Michele Pavone Stricker