photo of Natalie, Noelle and Nicole Castriganos

From undergraduate and graduate degrees to teaching, these sisters achieve goals in triplicate.

This trifecta of BW grads is amazing

December 17, 2020

For some things, only a sister will do. So when it came time to earn a master's degree, the Castrigano trio of Natalie, Noelle and Nicole looked to each other. And to Baldwin Wallace.

Same Footprint. Different Years­.

photo of Natalie, Noelle and Nicole CastriganosThe trio had already earned their undergraduate degrees from BW. The same degree for all three – middle school education. But the similarities don't stop there. Neither do the bonds of sisterly love, friendship and teaching.

For 24-year-old Natalie, it was a no-brainer to attend BW as an undergraduate student. Her sisters Nicole Castrigano, age 32, and Noelle Castrigano Chance, age 31, both graduated from BW in 2010 with identical degrees – a Bachelor of Science in education and Bachelor of Arts in English.

"My sisters had a wonderful BW experience," emphasized Natalie. "My sister Noelle graduated high school a year early. They both had the desire to teach and wanted to go on the journey together. I followed in their footsteps in 2014 and graduated three years later, though I omitted English as a second major," she admitted with a smile.

No Place Like Home

photo of Natalie, Noelle and Nicole Castriganos as kids"We decided to pursue our MAEd together," Natalie explained. "We all loved our quality of education we received through our undergraduate BW experiences. And, after researching other master of educational technology programs, we knew nothing could compare to the one at BW. We are all YJ4Ls and knew we wanted to return home!

"You can tell BW faculty really care about their students," she said. "This is one of the many reasons we chose BW for our graduate program. Plus, the technology tools we learned in our coursework were very beneficial. We would learn about a technology tool one week and implement it in our own classrooms right away.

"The three of us all took our MAEd classes while being full-time teachers," she went on to say. "This year, with online and hybrid school environments, we are able to utilize all of the technology skills we learned at BW."

Together in teaching

And if earning the same undergraduate and master's degrees weren't enough similarity to raise one's eyebrows in a surprising way, then surely the last piece of this teaching trifecta is bound to nudge a smile.

It just so happens all three sisters work for North Ridgeville City Schools. Natalie is an eighth-grade STEM teacher at Ranger High-Tech Academy. Noelle is a fifth-grade English language arts/social studies teacher at North Ridgeville Academic Center, and Nicole also works at North Ridgeville Academic Center as a sixth-grade math/science teacher.

"It's been an amazing journey to have been able to complete my MAEd with my sisters at BW," said Natalie. "We graduated together with the same degree — MAEd in leadership in technology for teaching and learning — on Dec. 12. We watched the virtual ceremony together with our parents and significant others. It was a proud moment for all of us.

"It's obvious that we are very close," she said sincerely. "Our shared family, education and teaching experiences have really bonded us. I couldn't have imagined doing this any other way."