Teachers leave a lasting impact on students


Matteo DeLeon thanks Mr. Isabelli for being a mentor.

Many of our teachers go above and beyond. They don’t just teach a lesson and assign homework; instead, they value their students and take the time out of their day to get to know each individual.

Walking down the hallway, you will notice many of the teachers stand outside their classrooms waving to all the students. Sometimes, just that will brighten your day. Some of them will go beyond quick greetings and take the time to check-in on you. During class, many teachers will walk around and try to create small talk with each student.

As seniors, it’s difficult to leave the friends we made throughout high school, and just as hard to leave the relationships we have built with teachers. Some teachers have played a bigger role in a student’s life than one may think, and here are just a few of the great teachers we have.

Tijana Arbutina and Profe Sierra

Building a relationship with a teacher is always special, but it’s even more special when you build it without primarily speaking the same language. Tijana Arbutina (12) expressed that Profe Elizabeth Sierra has had the biggest impact on her throughout high school.

“Her classroom is always so welcoming and fun. Profe Sierra has created a very comfortable environment where I feel encouraged to ask questions and participate,” Arbutina said. “She has made the classroom safe by being accepting and patient with all of us. I look forward to all of her classes because I know I will learn a lot, but I will have a great time learning without being rushed or stressed.”

It has been hard for everyone during this remote and hybrid school year, but Arbutina was able to build a strong relationship with Profe Sierra.

“Even though it was hard to do e-learning, she always made the best out of every class with her positivity. Her patience and understanding made class so enjoyable, and I looked forward to seeing her every day.” Arbutina said. “I am so grateful that I had the experience of being in her class this year, and I will miss Profe Sierra so much.”

Julia Martorano and Mr. Bellito

Julia Martorano (12) said she has become closest with Mr. Matthew Bellito throughout her high school experience. Mr. Bellito is a well-known favorite at the high school. Not only does he teach various social studies classes, but he is also a boys’ basketball coach and announcer at the football games.

Martorano described Mr. Bellito’s classroom environment as comfortable and welcoming. Mr. Bellito has many fun traditions he started in his classroom—one of which being what he calls “study guide races,” where he likes to challenge a student to pass out study guides before a quiz. Study guides are due prior to the quiz, and he passes them out a couple days prior so there is time to study.

“You have to pass it out to each student before Mr. Bellito or he wins,” she said, describing this as an unforgettable experience.

“One of my favorite memories was the day before winter break when Mr. Bellito played his guitar and was singing and dancing around the classroom,” Martorano said. “Another favorite memory was when Mr. Bellito and I were competing in a study guide race, and I won.”

If you have never gotten the chance to have Mr. Bellito as a teacher, give him a wave in the hallway.

Matteo Deleon and Mr. Isabelli

Mr. Isabelli is one of the amazing teachers from our English department. To Matteo DeLeon (12), however, Mr. Tony Isabelli is a teacher and a mentor.

DeLeon first had Mr. Isabelli for his freshman year literature class and was able to have him for a second time during junior year in AP Lang. Mr. Isabelli and Deleon grew close freshman year, as they always met after school to practice music together or play chess.

“Mr. Isabelli is very important to me because he has helped me with big decisions in my life,” DeLeon said. “He has also passed down a lot of knowledge and experience to help me understand some things I didn’t before. He doesn’t just focus on [teaching you] to become a better writer, but a better person as well.”

Victoria Urso and Ms. Phillips

Many people mistake her as a student because she’s so young, but as a matter of fact, she is one of the English teachers at the high school. Ms. Phillips teaches World Literature classes, AP Capstone classes and Journalism.

I was lucky enough to have Ms. Phillips in and out of the classroom, as she was my varsity assistant poms coach my sophomore year and has been a Director of Orchesis for both my junior and senior years. Ms. Phillips goes out of her way to get to know each student in the class. You can come to her with anything, and she is understanding and kind.

If I could describe her classroom environment I would say it felt like home. I looked forward to her class every day of my sophomore, junior and senior year. I cannot thank Ms. Phillips enough for believing in me and for always being there for me. I will miss her the most.