South Orangetown Central School District

As Sports Director at WVII, the ABC/FOX station in Bangor, Maine, #ProudTZGrad Andrew Badillo (‘13) anchors and produces three sports segments a day–writing all the scripts, filming and editing–five to six days a week!

“My Tappan Zee High School experience was huge in helping me develop my passion for storytelling and TV broadcasting,” Badillo reports. “I remember being introduced to editing software and cameras in TV Production class. I will never forget my public speaking class with Ms. (Frances) Duffy and how she demanded hard work from all her students. While she was tough, she never gave up on her students, which was something I learned and appreciate to this day. While I didn’t learn skills that necessarily transfer directly to my field, several other teachers helped mold me into who I am today: Mr. (Edward) Clinton, Ms. (Susan) Gleeson, Mr. (Brian) Newburger, Ms. (Beth) Smith, Ms. (Theresa) Starink, Ms. (Dana) Stranges and Ms. (Christine) O’Brien, thank you for all you did!”

After graduating from TZHS, Badillo majored in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University. “I wanted to go to a college that provided opportunity to cover sports outside the classroom,” he explains. “Quinnipiac had an outstanding student-run TV station (Q30 Television), as well as an exceptional journalism program with professors who were former/current TV executives, directors, reporters and anchors. Quinnipiac offered me the opportunity to learn about the journalism field in the classroom and then apply those skills right away in Q30. I had the chance to travel to cover NCAA Tournaments and several high profile games around the country through the TV station.”

Badillo graduated from Quinnipiac with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2017 and has begun building a memorable career, covering events including the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in Utah and Washington and the 2018 American Football Conference championship between the Patriots and Jaguars at Gillette Stadium.

“Life is about making mistakes and building yourself back up,” Badillo says. “High school can be a pretty tough time for some students. Failure and making mistakes is normal! Say yes to everything and don’t be afraid to fail. I make mistakes–often in front of a large audience–but I get back up and move on. If you want to be a sports writer, talk to the athletic director and see if you can be a beat writer for one of the high school sports teams or start a podcast with a friend (there’s an app for everything). If you want to be on TV, practice talking in front of the mirror, film yourself on your iPhone and take Ms. Duffy’s public speaking class!”

Our #ProudTZGrad campaign highlights recent Tappan Zee High School alumni who are excelling in an area that is directly connected to their academic and/or school-based extracurricular pursuits at TZHS.

Andrew Badillo with mic at sports event with snowy mountains in background