Theater Teacher Resignation Symptom of Larger Illness

B-CC is starting to see the real impact of MCPS staff shortages.


Ali Hellerman

Engineering teacher and long-time theater teacher Mr. Koperski resigned over the summer from directing the play and musical productions because MCPS couldn’t find a Technical Director to help him manage the shows. He explained that it was entirely his choice to take on the responsibility of leading the musical last year while also teaching engineering. The weight of simultaneously being the Technical Director, Director, and Producer for the play was getting too heavy.“I would work from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. many days. I felt like I was working two jobs,” said Koperski. Luckily, English teacher David Lopilato stepped in and took over the play at the start of the school year.

Koperski is not a one-off instance, however. At B-CC, finding teachers has become an increasingly difficult problem, raising issues like the need for a long-term substitute teacher for AP Physics. The substitute teacher shortage primarily affects the teachers at B- CC because they are forced to cover classes they don’t have experience teaching, which also cuts into the time they spend planning lessons. Many students are then unable to learn the material in their classes. “There was one day my teacher couldn’t come to school and there just wasn’t any sub,” said Junior Anna Antinolfi, “we were in the classroom by ourselves for the whole period.”

The lack of substitute teachers has also forced class sizes to grow, going from a maximum number of 28 students per class last year to more than 30 this year. This is making it harder for teachers to form one-on-one connections with their students, as they often teach more than 150 students every day.

The student-to-teacher ratio in Montgomery County High Schools is 1:20, and McKnight has reassured the community that “the numbers are going to change.” Unfortunately, until they do, B-CC teachers will continue to be overworked; and history teachers will continue to fill in for chemistry teachers.