Physics Back At General Brown


After Monday night's board of education meeting, there's a new physics teacher at General Brown.

His name is Clarence Backus. He's a part-time professor at Jefferson Community College and works in the lab at Kraft Foods. This will be his third job.

Backus agreed to teach physics at General Brown for a fraction of the pay.

But what about next year?

"I don't know what's going to happen next year," principal Tina Heckman said. "Now, certainly this summer, it's been a challenge."

"Next year's a whole different budget," said board member Sandy Young Klindt. "If we can increase our offerings, it may still include him, but we'd certainly like to be able to accommodate every student that wants to take physics, as opposed to 30 of the 50."
Only 30 students can take physics this year of the 50 who want to.

Due to massive cuts in this year's school budget, officials were forced to cut the full-time physics position to part time. Then the person who had the job resigned.

It's hard enough to find a physics teacher, but school officials say finding a part-time physics teacher is even harder.

"The sciences are very specific in terms of certification," Heckman said. "If we hire a social studies teacher, it's grades 7 through 12, so that individual could teach any grade in the junior-senior high."

"With science, it's much different, where you're very locked into a certification area."

Attempts to reach Backus were unsuccessful; he was teaching a night class at JCC's Fort Drum campus.

He'll be paid around $10,000 for teaching this year at General Brown.
Monday, December 5, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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