The unsung heroes of the COVID year


Haleigh Jawidzik, Staff

Finding substitute teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic has served as one the most profound challenges throughout the enormously challenging school year.   

With substitute teachers in high-demand and a shortage of people willing to go into schools nationwide, PA was able to line a few  up in advance before they were  assigned to another school district. 

“We had a lot of substitutes who  didn’t feel safe this year because of their age,” said administrative assistant Mr. Langevin, who is in charge of arranging the substitute teachers. “We didn’t pressure them. We had to see who was comfortable and be able to come in.” 

At PA, two substitutes  have been in at school almost every day since the start of the school year, helping out as much as they can: Ms. Belli and Mr. Smith. 

“One of things I’ve enjoyed while subbing was the opportunity to meet new people,” said Mr. Smith. “I personally think teachers are a special breed of people as well as students.”

But the substitute teacher are the ones who stepped up as the unsung heroes.

“The ones who have come in really saved the school year because if they weren’t willing to come in then I don’t know how we would have classes here,” said Mr. Langevin. 

Before vaccinations, there were  a limited number of subs available, mostly due to belonging  in the “at risk” category for COVID-19 contraction. Right now,  a total of five or six substitutes a day that come in regularly, including former French teacher Mr. Mehegan. 

“I hope the students, as well as the teachers, show appreciation when they see them,” said Mr. Langevin.