Saying Goodbye to Mr. Scarnati
By MAYA MASHEB
Social Studies teacher Mr. Scarnati has been working at Jericho High School for 17 years, and, sadly, this year will be his last. Both Jericho staff and students will miss him as he embarks upon retirement.
Mr. Scarnati has taught for 39 years in seven different high schools. He began working in Jericho in 2000 with an immediate focus on initiating “tremendous” changes in the research program. He said, “When I came here, the research program was just called ‘Independent Research’. Everyone was supposed to develop their own project, meet with the teacher if they could once a day, and at the end of each quarter, submit some written work that they had done. However, after discussions with Administration we changed it into what we now have, where you have an introductory course that’s open to all ninth graders, and then a Social Science and Science program open to grades 10, 11, and 12.”
A Social Science Research teacher for many years, Mr. Scarnati admires the “nice and pleasant” students here at Jericho. He will miss them and hopes that in the future, Social Science Research will remain a class in which collaboration is the highest value. He said, “I hope that it will remain more of a program that is interested in teaching kids how to do research rather than how to enter contests.” He stressed the importance of the group effort hoping students will develop “a sense that research is collaboration and not competition.”
Although Mr. Scarnati feels excited about his retirement, his students do not feel the same as they will miss his instruction and guidance. Sophomore Catherine L. said, “I will miss his talks about how the grading system is unfair and should be changed.” Similarly, Sophomore Varsha B. said, “I will miss having Mr. Scarnati guide us through Social Science Research. I value all that we have learned this year with him, such as how to do research and conduct surveys.”
Mr. Scarnati looks forward to traveling and spending time with his son and granddaughter in Florida, and will continue to instruct courses at the college level.