Alumni Profile: Dr. Kevin Sambuchino (’91)


January 11, 2016

image1(15)A healthy human being is to brush his or her teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Dr. Kevin Sambuchino is one person who would support these habits. As an accomplished and respected dentist he knows all about the hygienics of the mouth.

Dr. Sambuchino graduated from Prep in 1991. He enrolled at Prep due to the influence of his father, who also attended Prep, and the way the close-knit atmosphere of Cathedral Prep appealed to him. As a student, he enjoyed his math classes most of all. He particularly admired the late Mrs. Mullen as a teacher. He also gave honorable mentions to Mr. Achille and Mr. Alexa. He liked how Mr. Achille and Mr. Alexa were very involved in the school at the time (Mr. Achille coached golf and Mr. Alexa ran ski club) because that’s what Prep is all about: getting involved.

Dr. Sambuchino was certainly involved in his school back in the day. Along with performing well in all of his classes, he was also capable of playing for the water polo and tennis teams. While they’re both highly competitive sports, he stated that they were very different experiences, saying, “If you won tennis states the school might not know. Water polo wasn’t like that.” The nice thing about water polo, to him, was having the student body cheering for them. He stated that the coolest thing about Prep was the fact that when the students were cheering they were all together as one unit. There could be a 6’8″ football player standing next to a little kid from the debate team in the cheering section, and for that moment they’re buddies. Different kinds of kids can be friends. You don’t see that at other schools, not even other Catholic ones. “Once you’re in that section, you’re black and orange.” The togetherness of the student body is what makes Cathedral Prep so special to him.

In his teen years he worked a couple jobs. The first was at Wegmans, but not the one we know. He and his coworkers would be loaded into a van and rode for an hour and a half to New York to get their training. He mentioned how nowadays the ride wouldn’t be so bad with all of our technology, but back then his entertainment was limited. “Back then I just had a Walkman,” he said. When the Wegmans opened in Erie, he was placed in the meat department, where he would load chicken and other meats, ending his shift covered in blood. He also had a construction job when he was in college, operating as “the gopher,” having to stack and clean anything the older workers told him to. His rough bunch of coworkers would make fun of him and call him “college boy,” which only motivated him more to study in school. When asked, he replied that he’d almost prefer for his children to work a tough job like that, as opposed to just hanging out at Sara’s, so they could receive the determination to succeed.

After high school, Dr.Sambuchino went on to major in business finance and minor in biology at the University of Pittsburgh. He credits much of his success in college to the principles that he learned at Prep. At Prep, he noted that Mr. Del Rio, among other teachers, would “knock you down to see how you’d get up.” His first class at Pitt was Chemistry One and it astounded him to see students in the front rows in sweatpants, eating chips, drinking sodas, and talking right in front of the teacher. That degree of disrespect would never be tolerated at Prep, and for that reason he plans on sending his sons to Prep. He believes there is no place in the area that will teach them the values that he considers so important.

Dr. Sambuchino continued his studies at Pitt’s dental school. He then came back to Erie and became a successful dentist. He thinks that in Erie, more so than anywhere else, the Prep diploma gives you credibility in your field. He stays involved at Prep by making mouth guards for the football team with a new technique that is meant to lower concussion rates. With his children attending the football and basketball camps, he’s getting even more involved, and when they start to attend the home of the Ramblers, we’re sure to see even more of him.

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