Portrait of a Graduate

Elisa (Cipollone ‘11) O’Toole

University of Dallas
Throughout her time at Oakcrest and at the University of Dallas, Elisa (Cipollone ‘11) O’Toole was interested in news and in journalism. Today, she is a wife, mother of three children, and a producer for “The Ingraham Angle” on the Fox News Channel, where she has worked for nearly five years.

“Working for this show has taken me all over the country – and even the world. I love working in a fast paced, breaking news environment where everyday is different. But my favorite job is being a mom to my three kids – Clare, James, and Sofia. They are the greatest adventure and biggest blessing,” she said. 

The advice she received from her Oakcrest mentors such as Caroline Heeter ‘97 and Dr. Mary T. Ortiz has stayed with her throughout her life. “Ms. Heeter taught me to work hard, push myself, and honor my commitments, and Dr. Ortiz really helped me navigate that time right before I left for college.”

Some of O’Toole’s favorite Oakcrest memories include spirit week – having the whole school get involved and dress up for occasions. She said she would often get a little too competitive with the cheer competition each year. O’Toole was a member of the Oakcrest soccer and softball teams, as well as a member of the student council.  In addition, she was involved in many Oakcrest theatre productions. 

When asked about how an Oakcrest liberal arts education formed her as a young woman, O’Toole said that its impact has been lifelong. “I think my academic education at Oakcrest gave me the foundation to go through college more prepared than many of my peers. I learned to think critically and develop my writing skills, which served me in college and beyond.”

To the students preparing to graduate from Oakcrest, O’Toole encourages trying new things and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. “You don’t have to have it all figured out by the time you’re 22!” she said. “Also, never hesitate to reach out to your friends from Oakcrest. I made lifelong friends at Oakcrest who are some of the most important people in my life to this day. I don’t know where I would be without them.”