From Producer to Educator

How 9/11 inspired a change in the life of Athletic Director Christopher Passamano


Courtesy of Christopher Passamano

A younger Passamano speaks to journalism icon Walter Cronkite at Arizona State University.

Lucy Scorziello, Staff Writer

Christopher Passamano is known at Stamford High School for being a diligent athletic director, but there’s a lot about his career that you may not know. He originally was a journalism major and studied at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, where he later received his bachelor’s degree. From there, he said, he began a career in sports radio.

“I worked my way up to being the youngest executive producer in the country of a major market station,” Passamano said.

However, his career later transitioned into something different after a life-changing occurrence. Passamano was working in New York City around the time of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I had spent the weekend in Boston,” he explained. “I decided to stay one more day.” Passamano said, “So I was in Boston and not at my office in lower Manhattan that day.” His last minute decision not to return to his office was unknowingly significant to his career. 

According to Passamano, the events of that day had a profound effect on him. “I was incredibly lucky in that I knew 11 people, including my two lifelong friends, at ground zero that day and 10 made it home,” he said.  

After this, Passmano said that something shifted inside and he decided to take another path with his career. The events of 9/11 made him reevaluate what was important, and what he was doing with his life.

“I realized that what I was doing was not making a real difference in the world and while the money and perks of the job were good– I wanted to do something more,” Passamano said.  This inner motivation led him to consider other careers. 

“My wonderful wife, who I met in April of 2001, was a teacher and so when I did some soul searching about my life she suggested I look at teaching,” Passamano said.

He was then granted the NYC Teaching Fellowship, which gave him the opportunity to student teach at  IS98 and teach full time at PS 279 in the Bronx, New York. 

But working in the Bronx and raising a family in Norwalk, Connecticut soon became difficult and shortened the amount of time he could spend with his newborn son.

So Passamano transferred to Norwalk High School, where he coached baseball and swim and then became the dean of students. This led him to become the athletic director at Stamford High School, which many students know him as now. 

Passamano said the experience has been rewarding overall. “I love being a teacher, a coach and now an athletic director. It has given me much more than I have been able to give to it. It was easily the right move for me,” he said.