Steinbrenner physics teacher James Liberatore has recently fallen ill and is expected to be on medical leave for a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks. While the complications of his absence initially left students without an instructor, fellow teachers of the school’s Physics Department have quickly stepped in to handle the situation.
In Liberatore’s absence, fellow physics instructors Stephen Messina and Jaquelin Eisenhauer not only assisted in preparing students for the midterm exam by taking on additional kids but are also making sure they remain up to speed with the neighboring physics classes.
“As soon as Mr. Liberatore took the leave of absence it wasn’t until the next day, but the day after that Mr. Messina and I went in,” said Eisenhauer.
Despite their fast response to the issue, the initial problem was finding time to help the students. At first, Messina and Eisenhauer were able to assist struggling students during their planning periods or whenever they had the opportunity to help, however, leaving behind those remaining kids whom they couldn’t reach posed a serious problem. Nevertheless, Messina and Eisenhauer found a solution by combining or splitting up Liberatore’s students with their own classes.
“It’s a little different seeing fifty kids in a classroom compared to the normal twenty-five, but once you get past that its really not that much different. What I do with twenty-five students I now do with fifty,” said Messina.
Messina tackled the obstacle of seating arrangements by compiling additional desks, combining them with preexisting ones to allow for the numerous new students.
“It helps us to have teachers that will help us along and… help us to keep up with the rest of the classes,”said junior Josh Perez.
While Liberatore may not be capable of being physically present for his students now, through the generous assistance of his colleagues is he able to ensure his remaining classes receive the proper instruction to excel in their studies. In addition to the helpful aid of Messina and Eisenhauer however, Nicholas Hutchinson, a permanent replacement for Liberatore’s classes, has recently been hired to take over for the remainder of the year.
Logan Conrad/ Staff Writer