New Windsor mayor to fill in 6 days as biology teacher at S. Carroll High

December 16, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

New Windsor Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. may have thought he could teach Carroll County schools a few things, but he never imagined it would be in the classroom.

Mr. Gullo's recent tempestuous negotiations with the school system about sewer fees for his town's new middle school did nothing to prepare him for a six-day stint as a substitute biology teacher at South Carroll High School.

"No, I've never taught before. I've never even been [a student] in a public school before," said Mr. Gullo, who went to Catholic schools and holds a bachelor's degree in biology and a law degree.

"They wanted someone who has expertise in this area [biology] TTC because these kids haven't learned anything since Thanksgiving," he said. "They've had lesson plans and things, but not people who thoroughly understood the subject" to substitute teach.

School officials declined to explain what happened to the previous biology teacher.

Mr. Gullo adds teacher to a list of positions that includes volunteer firefighter, mayor and lawyer.

He said he applied to become a substitute teacher shortly before graduating from law school in May.

He had not heard from school officials until he was contacted Monday by Carol Swomley, a South Carroll assistant principal, who asked if he could begin work this week.

Principal David Booz confirmed that Mr. Gullo would be starting today.

Mr. Gullo said he would be teaching five biology classes and monitoring a study hall and homeroom until next Thursday, when winter break begins.

The school may extend his temporary employment, he said.

Although he has no formal teaching experience, Mr. Gullo said he taught first-year debate classes as a senior at Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. He also has taught swimming.

But even without a lesson plan, Mr. Gullo said, his biology training will give him the foundation he needs.

"I have the knowledge to do this," he said. "You have to understand that what I see as obvious and easy, these kids are seeing for the very first time."

Full-time teaching would leave Mr. Gullo little time to run the private law practice he plans to operate at the beginning of the year, but he said that because he has few clients lined up, he has the time -- for now -- to devote to teaching.

"The reason I am doing this is so I can lend my expertise to the students," Mr. Gullo said. "I want to help."

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