New Teachers: Mr. Laskin and Mr. Ritacco
As the 2018-2019 school year began back in September, the students of NHS were introduced to new history teachers, including Mr. Seth Laskin and Mr. Nick Ritacco. Both have a lot to offer the NHS students.
Graduating from Temple University, Mr. Laskin has always had a love for history, but didn’t always know he had a passion for teaching. “I have always liked history, even when I was in school, so I pretty much wanted to study history in college, but I didn't know that I was going to teach it until the end of college,” he said.
When it comes to students, Mr. Laskin has had a plan to teach higher level students ever since his passion for teaching came about. “I always knew that I wanted to teach older students like high school or college level and that was solidified when I actually started teaching,” Laskin explained. He says his favorite thing about teaching is the way he can continue to learn while teaching. “I guess that students force you to keep learning as a teacher,” he shared.
A student from one of Mr. Laskin’s class is NHS sophomore Sarah Bramley. “Mr. Laskin is a very helpful and kind-hearted teacher,” Bramley said. “Whenever I have a question, he thoroughly explains it and helps me to better understand the topic.”
As for Mr. Ritacco, his passion for becoming a history teacher grew ever since his love for history began in middle school. “History is probably my favorite subject. I’ve had phenomenal teachers in middle school and high school. The teachers inspired me to love history,” Ritacco said.
Graduating from Kean University, Mr. Ritacco actually had an idea of teaching middle school students, after his past with great middle school teachers. He then chose to teach high school students because he currently coaches the NHS wrestling team. “Experience in coaching helped me with my management with high school students,” Ritacco stated.
He explains how his favorite thing about being a teacher is the capability to help his students. “I feel like teaching I’m not only helping them here, I’m helping them outside the classroom,” he said. “I’m also helping them with home life, with school life. Not being too far out of college I still have a lot of things freshly in my mind that can I help through and manage. I have only been involved in teaching for only less than a year.”
From a student's perspective, Noor Alawan, a sophomore, is currently a student of Mr. Ritacco. “Mr. Ritacco is very funny and makes the best of things. He also is understanding and knows how stressful the life of a high schooler can be so he's always trying with us and tries to push us to our ultimate best that we can be,” she claims. Teaching-wise, Noor explains how he helps her understand the work she is given. “Mr. Ritacco provides enough work to help us understand the lesson and gives sources that either summarize or go in depth of a specific to the topic we are learning.”
Overall, Mr. Laskin and Mr. Ritacco both came into NHS to begin teaching their favorite subject, history right out of college. Their love for history shows where their inspiration for teaching came from and coming from students, both teachers are very helpful and challenge them.