Teacher Feature: Dr. John C. LoFaro Jr. Joins the Science Department

Alisa Delaj, ‘17

Dr. LoFaro, a new chemistry teacher at BHSEC, has a PhD in Chemistry from Stony Brook University. He studied Chemistry, as well as Forensic Science as an undergrad at the University of New Haven. But it became clear to Dr. LoFaro that chemistry was the path he wanted to pursue after undergrad. He has truly loved chemistry ever since he was first introduced to it. Dr. LoFaro, however, did not always have chemistry in mind when thinking about his future. He actually wanted to become a chef when he was in high school because not only was cooking his favorite class, but also he was very good at it. He enjoyed cooking in home economics class and working with his hands. He mentioned that cooking and chemistry “aren’t all that different and usually a person who is good at chemistry is good at cooking as well.”

Like many teachers, Dr. LoFaro taught before BHSEC. He was a lecturer at the Rose Hill Campus of Fordham University and is an adjunct assistant professor at St. John’s University. When asked if the early college program at BHSEC was similar to actual university he agreed it very much was in a way. He said that the things that are different at four‐year colleges is the experience. Students at four‐year colleges live a more independent lifestyle, especially those who live away from home.

Dr. LoFaro also commented on the ways teachers at four‐year colleges are different from the teachers at BHSEC. Because college campuses tend to be very big in his experience, he has found that professors are more distant from their students and are not as available to students. In fact, Dr. LoFaro said that BHSEC was the only school he had worked where there were mandatory after school tutoring hours.

The students at BHSEC seem different than your typical four‐year college students according to Dr. LoFaro. He noted, “The quality of students at BHSEC is higher even coming from a college background.” Knowing how much potential BHSEC students have, he tries to push them to achieve their potential. He expects no less than the best from his students and that is why he is always willing to challenge them and challenge their way of thinking. He stated that “I expect a why from the answer students give me to prove their understanding, I don’t want them to just tell me the answer I want to know the concept behind their reasoning.”

Although Dr. LoFaro’s approach is very similar to the school’s philosophy, he needed some time to adjust to high school life. One change was the abundance of parents at BHSEC, which he rarely saw when he taught at universities. The thing he really finds unique about BHSEC is the early college program. He thinks this program provides a unique and effective way for students to be ahead of their peers when they get to college.

Dr. LoFaro does not spend all of time thinking about chemistry, he has many hobbies and activities outside of BSHEC. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors and all types of outdoor sports like softball. He loves being close to nature and really enjoys hunting and fishing. Some of the athletic teams he is a fan of are the Rangers, Yankees, and Giants. He also watches a little basketball and soccer here and, although is not a dedicated fan of any particular teams, he would root for the Knicks and the Red Bulls simply because they are New York teams. One athlete he currently looks up to is Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers, because “he is a very humble man and stays out of the spotlight” in addition to being a skilled player. Another thing he does in his free time is “grade papers.” He loves spending time with his wife, who he recently married, and the rest of his family.

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