Each year, Luzerne-Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Development Services identifies the working skills of individuals with intellectual disabilities and honors those individuals at a Celebration of Abilities in observance of Intellectual Disabilities Awareness Month.
Pittston Area’s David Galli, a remarkable man who has achieved extraordinary results through his work with the school district despite having Cerebral Palsy, was among the seven honored this year. Lindsay Price, Galli’s support coordinator, sponsored him for the award.
Galli, a 1983 Pittston Area graduate, continued his relationship with the school district by joining the support staff in the fall of 1983. His diverse responsibilities included working in the mail room and with building and grounds. He also assists the district’s football operations — his true passion. His early duties with the athletic department included assisting a variety of teams’ coaches as equipment manager. His commitment to the football program led to his promotion as director of football operations. His responsibilities in that role include reviewing the rosters and assisting coaches and members of the team. Galli travels to every football game with his beloved Patriots.
Galli began his association with the team under the tutelage of then head football coach Bob Barbieri. This relationship continues with the current head football coach, Nick Barberi, son of Galli’s first mentor.
In the late 1980s, Galli befriended a student football player by the name of John Haas, who later went on to become a principal in the district.
“I taught John everything he knows about football,” Galli said.
Haas returned to the district as a teacher/assistant football coach in 1998, and now Dr. Haas serves as principal of the senior high school. His friendship with Galli continues to this day.
“David not only has the exceptional ability of remembering the name of every student who has passed through the district but also the year they graduated,” Haas said. “David never forgets a face.”
Haas said he fondly remembers Galli as being a good influence on him and everyone he worked with during those early years.
Dr. Janet Donovan, Pittston Area’s director of curriculum, was a classmate of Galli’s.
“David was Pittston Area’s No. 1 Patriot,”she recalled. She said Galli referred to her father, Superintendent John Donovan, whom he admired, as “Boss.”
Part of Galli’s current duties is to meet weekly with Superintendent Kevin Booth to give him updates on the football team, the Cefalo Center and the general state of the district.
“David is the eyes and ears of Pittston Area. He is the most well-know employee in the district,” Booth said. “He puts life in perspective.”
Galli’s commitment to Pittston Area and its football program resulted in the district honoring him in 2014 with his very own street sign at the entrance to Pittston Area’s football field, which is now known as “Galli Way.” The unveiling and dedication took place at the Senior High School Field House and was attended by Galli’s family, as well as his extended family of coaches, staff and players.