Matthew Silvestri comes to Pioneer Academy starting the 2022-2023 school year with excitement to grow our Pioneer Academy Athletics Department. Mr. Silvestri graduated from Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. While earning his degree in Health and Physical Education, he was a member of the schools NCAA Division 1 Men’s Swimming and Diving team.
In his college years while being a student athlete, he also worked at the prestigious Horace Mann School. He assisted many aspects of their athletics department that offers 30+ sports for students in Middle and High School. His main role was Associate Head Coach for Varsity Water Polo and Swimming. Other roles he was assigned include, set up and breakdown for varsity games, running the scoreboard for basketball, baseball, soccer, and softball. As well as assisting the Strength and Conditioning coaches in the Athletic Training room and state of the art weight room.
After graduating College, Coach Matt moved back home to Howell, New Jersey where he taught grades 6-12 Physical Education at Central Jersey College Prep Charter School. While also serving as the head varsity coach for Shore Regional High School girls and boys swim teams.
In the Summer you can find Coach Matt on the beach in Sea Girt, New Jersey where he is a member of the town's Ocean Rescue Beach Patrol. He enjoys participating in New Jersey lifeguard tournaments specifically in rowing events against other patrols from the state. He is also an avid surfer and surfing instructor at the Sea Girt Surf School. Coach Matt is a certified Emergency Medical Responder, as well as a CPR and First Aid Instructor.
Matt sees the vision of growing Pioneer Academy into a successful Athletic Department and can’t wait to add more teams yearly for the students of Pioneer Academy. He has a strong aquatic background, but is passionate about all sports. With his vision and the support from the staff and administration the sky's the limit for athletics at Pioneer.
I was born and raised in Mendoza, Argentina, where I attended College to become a Physical education teacher. I moved to The United States of America shortly after graduating, and I continued my education at Montclair State University to become a Health education teacher. Throughout my childhood I played sports thus, I still love to participate in friendly soccer and volleyball games.
My career started in 2006 when I was teaching physical education to elementary school students at All Saints Day School in Hoboken. I then taught at Ma’ayanot High School where I coached cross country, track and field, and took part in the Zumba and CPR/AED clubs.
I also worked in Montague and Haskell in the Public school district for 6 years where I coached soccer for two seasons, and implemented a Health and Physical education program to students in Kindergarten through 8th grade level.
I love helping young people learn about the benefits of exercise including building strong bodies, having fun, and working together! In my classes I encourage sportsmanship, teamwork, and personal growth. In Health and Wellness class I promote critical thinking and decision making, and I guide students to keep a healthy mind and body through positive behavior.
I love spending time with my husband, Daniel and my two children, Christina and Gabriel. Traveling around the world and learning about new cultures is our favorite thing to do. In my free time I enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, playing soccer, swimming, hiking and mountain bike riding. Overall, I am excited to start a new year teaching physical education at Pioneer Academy.
James was a four year member of the Princeton University Men’s Soccer Team and graduated in 2007 with a BA in Economics. After college, he played three seasons with the Morris County Colonials in the NPSL.
He began coaching youth soccer for West Essex in 2014 and enjoyed success at the club and middle school levels. Most notably, his West Essex Middle School Boy’s Team won the 2016 Essex County Tournament. Since then, he has held coaching positions at Paramus Catholic High School and Elmwood Park High School.
Most recently, his Elmwood Park JV Boys advanced to the second round of the 2022 Bergen Cup Tournament, a feat of which he is very proud. James is excited to join Pioneer Academy and continue sharing his knowledge and passion for the game. He will also be teaching business classes in the upcoming school year.
In addition to his assistant coaching position at Our Saviour, Coach Pope also serves as the Head Coach of the New York Lighting AAU team, where he has achieved significant success. He has won multiple team championships and has helped numerous students secure college scholarship offers.
Prior to pursuing a coaching career, Coach Pope enjoyed a successful playing career that culminated in his graduation from the University of Texas-Permian Basin. As a member of the university's Division 2 men's basketball program, he made significant contributions. Alongside his collegiate basketball endeavors, Coach Pope obtained a degree in communications.