Mike Rullo, Esq. graduated from Temple University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minor in History. He received his law degree in 2016 from the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law and joins Kessler Topaz, a Radnor law firm, in their derivatives and mergers and acquisitions litigation group.
Mike remains connected to DVFS. The past two years he has returned to present to seniors on strategies for success in college and graduate school. His talks are engaging and filled with realistic observations and suggestions from his own experiences.
When did you come to DVFS, and from where?
I came to DVFS in 7th grade from the Pilot School.
How did DVFS address help you with your learning differences?
The best part of DV was how quickly the teachers at DV were able to identify my strengths and weaknesses and tailor classes based on this. In math and reading, for example, students are grouped based on level not grade. Having similar learning profiles and abilities in these classes really helps students because in areas where you may be struggling, teachers are able to give a little more support and in areas where you are strong, the classes can be more high-powered.
What changed for you at DVFS?
My transition to DV was pretty seamless - Pilot is a similar school for LD students and DV was a continuation of small class sizes and a friendly environment. The biggest difference was that DVFS is a Quaker School - the atmosphere was more accepting and it was a more relaxed environment. The Quaker culture contributed to mutual respect between students and teachers.
Do you have any special memories from your time at DVFS?
I was a big soccer player at DV. I was team captain and won the Coach’s Award and MVP. I was on the team when DVFS won the Tri-County League Championship in 2004-5. Jalal invited Middle School students up to play a few minutes in those playoff and championship games and it meant so much. I was also Student Government Co-Clerk my senior year and Co-Clerk of Middle School Student Government when I was in middle school. The Quaker environment really made a strong impression on me -- how accepting it was and how the Quaker process is really about discussion and being open minded.
What do you think the long-term value of a DVFS education has been for you?
DVFS really prepares students for what they need to do in college. Particularly in the humanities classes, their strategy of having you read on your own and discuss or lecture in class, and work on papers throughout the semester is very similar to the college process. My history teacher, Nicky Garvan, helped me with taking notes, and her tests were spot on compared to what you encounter in college - she really gave a college level exam.
How do you think your experiences at DVFS have contributed to your current success?
My strongest academic area is writing, which directly connects to what I need to do as lawyer. DVFS is responsible for where I am as a writer. They taught me the basic fundamentals -- how to organize, plan and turn in a polish draft. They helped me understand and be able to really absorb the process of how to structure and formulate an argument - and how long the process from nothing to a polished, organized, and strong final product would take me.
What do you think is the most significant aspect that sets DVFS apart from other schools?
The thing that most differentiates DVFS is their experience addressing individual learning challenges. Yet, despite its small size, they are able to provide experiences you would normally only get at larger school: sports, ABLE trips, Student Government - it’s a regular high school - and you get high caliber teachers, especially in the humanities.