Jeff “Doc” Greenberger, a longtime Latin teacher at Riverhead High School. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)
A group of parents have submitted a petition to the Riverhead school board asking the district’s administration to allow the current Latin teachers to teach more sections instead of hiring an additional teacher.
During the school board’s meeting Tuesday, parent Sarah Bowe submitted a copy of an online petition signed by over 100 people asking the district to reconsider hiring a new Latin teacher and allow the program’s current teachers, Jeff ‘Doc’ Greenberger and Lorene Custer, to teach more sections.
“Many students enroll in Latin with the specific intention of being taught by Ms. Custer and Dr. Greenberger and they all deserve that opportunity,” Ms. Bowe said.
The petition states, in part: “We ask that, if at all possible, the district find a way to allow the existing teachers to teach any additional sections that need to be added. Should that not be possible, we ask that any expansion of the Latin program be undertaken with the full cooperation of the existing teachers, so as to ensure the continued integrity of the program.”
Through Wednesday morning, it had gathered 118 online signatures.
When asked by a parent if the Latin teachers, who are married, were given the opportunity to teach the additional sections, school board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse said, “It is a contractual matter.”
Assistant superintendent David Wicks said both teachers are on the hiring committee and were also asked to let the district know if they knew of anybody suitable for the position.