By Jon Manowitz
This fall, the Byram Hills High School community had the privilege of welcoming Mr. Covert to the district. Prior to joining Byram Hills, Mr. Covert taught and coached baseball at Clarkstown High School North in New City, which is actually the high school he graduated from himself. Before becoming a teacher, Mr. Covert worked at IBM as an engineer and engineering manager.
When describing his experience thus far at Byram Hills, Mr. Covert explained, “I found the students here to be so cooperative, respectful, industrious, and kind. My colleagues are creative, friendly, and helpful. The administrative team is supportive and trusting. In all ways, I feel I have the environment around me that allows me to be the best I can be. As a result, I feel incredibly fortunate and know I have found my new home!”
Mr. Covert’s favorite part of teaching at Byram Hills has been “the sense … that everyone is pulling in the same direction.” He believes that “students need to be at the center of all we do in any school district, and that appears to be the culture present in Byram Hills.” He also said, “In return for the rich and healthy environment created for them, students regularly put in their best effort and interact with me in such a pleasant way.”
When asked what his biggest teaching struggle has been this year due to the COVID-19 regulations and hybrid learning schedule, Mr. Covert elaborated, “The biggest challenge … is the limited opportunities for hands-on activities and projects in physics. Physics is a tough subject, but one of the joys for the students should be the project-based experiences that are unique to this type of subject. We have done some but it is much, much more difficult to do so successfully when students are not in class, and when they cannot be expected to work in physical groups outside of school.” Although it may be difficult, Mr. Covert is hoping to “implement crazy projects like the ‘Cardboard Regatta’ in the future, where students build a boat out of only cardboard and duct tape. Then, they must get in the boat and race other students in an actual body of water!” This definitely sounds like a project that the students would love! Hopefully Mr. Covert will be able to implement it soon.
It’s clear Mr. Covert has been a wonderful addition to the Physics department and the Byram community overall. We are very lucky to have him joining us this year and hope to have him as an integral member of our school for many years to come!