Barnegat Leader

Former Barnegat High School Student Now Part of Faculty

Sep 11, 2017
James Rivers

As a new member of the Barnegat High School faculty, James Rivers didn't have much trouble finding his way around the building when school opened. The science teacher was a member of the Barnegat Class of 2010. 

“It’s going to be a little hard calling teachers that I had by their first name instead of Mr. or Mrs.,” he said. “It’s probably going to feel different at first, but I should be able to adjust pretty quickly.”

The 25-year-old teacher received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stockton University in 2014. He did some student teaching at Southern Regional High School, where he was mentored by biology teacher Robert McMaster.

“I was teaching one of his classes,” he said. “He taught me everything from lesson planning to how school systems operate.”

He also did some substitute teaching in the Barnegat school system and served as an assistant coach for the high school track teams.

Rivers’ first day in the classroom will be when schools open to students on Tuesday, Sept. 5. He will be teaching college prep biology and an elective course in forensic science.

“My professors at Stockton told me the importance of connecting with the students and believing that anybody can learn,” he said. “I want to make sure that the kids get something out of the class, whether they want to go into the science field or not.”  

When not in the classroom, don’t be surprised if you see him going on a jaunt. Last year, he won the 5-mile Dog Day Race in Harvey Cedars, and has also finished first in the Barnegat Fire Co.’s “Stop Drop and Run” 5K and 10K event.

“I ran track at the high school,” he said. “But when I was in college, I began feeling that I had a future in teaching, and it’s great to start in my hometown.”

Other new staff hires include James Barbiere, director of curriculum and instruction; Emily Kosch, speech and language pathologist; Eric DeDonatis, teacher of Italian; Jennifer Rathbauer, teacher of basic math skills; Michael Dunkin, ROTC teacher; and Tricia Bennett, basic skills teacher.

— Eric Englund   

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