Year in Review: Family of former Cherry Hill East science teacher forms new nonprofit

The formation of Dapp Inspired is the ninth most read Cherry Hill Sun story of 2018.

Michael Dappolone

Editor’s Note: This is part of a countdown of the top 10 most read stories on in 2018. This story was the ninth most read.

There was no denying Michael Dappolone was a beloved figure in the Cherry Hill community.

Known as Dapp by many around the township, Dappolone was a science teacher for nine years at Cherry Hill High School East, a pack leader for Cub Scout Pack №146, and a loving husband and father of two.

Shortly after Dappolone passed away at the age of 39 from colon cancer, his family decided to honor him through the formation of a new nonprofit organization dedicated to providing scholarships and other resources to local students pursuing science, technology, engineering, math and education careers. Named Dapp Inspired, the organization officially launched in 2018. In June, The Sun’s Mike Monostra sat down with Michael’s wife, Kristie Dappolone, his mother, Linda, and his brother, Brian, to talk about the organization.

Much of the story on Dapp Inspired went into Michael on how loved he was by his family as well as the greater community. Kristie, Linda and Brian all shared their favorite memories about Michael.

“I grew up with him and I shared a bedroom with him as we grew up,” Brian added. “We were always close, we had very similar interests so it was very easy to hang out with him.”

Kristie also discussed how Michael originally wasn’t a teacher, but decided to pursue education after being unhappy with his prior career.

“While he was there, he did things like run (student government),” Kristie said. “He was the bowling coach, helped with numerous activities like the senior trip to Disney, Mr. East activities, all of those things he was in charge of.”

Michael passed away in December of 2016. About a year after his death, the family began to process of forming Dapp Inspired to keep his memory alive. In June, the family awarded the first two Michael Dappolone Memorial Scholarships to students at Cherry Hill High School East and Haddon Township High School, schools where Dappolone had previously worked.

Moving forward, the Dappolone family is hoping to increase the amount of the scholarship as well as add one at Dappolone’s alma mater, Cherry Hill High School West. The organization will also look to fund other resources for students in the future.

“We’re working to fund science, technology, engineering, math initiatives in the public schools,” Kristie said.

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