Math Department Departure

Madeline Cohen I remember sitting in on one of Mr. Gross’s math classes on my shadow day at Latin, and while I spoke to him maybe only once or twice, I could already see that he was a great, passionate, and knowledgeable teacher who really enjoyed his job. And although I never had him as a teacher, the news of his retirement made me appreciate all the work that he has done to make the Math Department as strong as it is. However, his departure prompted several questions: who will take his place as department chair? Who will teach his classes? What changes should we expect to face? While there will definitely be some shifts, not many substantial changes will be made. In the few remaining weeks of school, Ms. Hoying will teach Mr. Gross’ AP Calculus class (as she has already been doing). As many people have already seen, Mr. Izen will also be a new addition to the program for the time being. Having formerly taught at Latin for thirty years, Mr. Izen has plenty of knowledge and experience to guide him as he covers Mr. Gross’ Algebra class. Current math teacher Ms. Warren will also be serving as the interim department chair. With this position comes responsibility. As the year comes to an end, she will be working to set everything up for the upcoming year. She will also play major roles in placing each incoming student in the appropriate math class and hiring a new teacher. Less obviously, she will also be “finishing up the nuts and bolts of the school year” by running department meetings and determining math awards. Next year, we shouldn’t expect to be affected much by any changes. Besides the presence of a new math teacher, not much else will be different. With Mr. Gross’ departure, the math department’s goal (and challenge) has been to maintain stability—something that they have already done well and will continue to do well in the future. Everything that works will be kept, and the few things that don’t will be improved. The math department has worked resiliently to make sure that any changes that we do face won’t be negative ones. Although Latin’s math programs will remain strong, we can’t forget what a knowledgeable, committed, and caring teacher Mr. Gross has been. “The thing I admire most about Mr. Gross is his devotion to students,” said Ms. Warren. “Whether it be his own or those outside of his classes, the students’ well-being was always first on Mr. Gross’ list. The care and dedication that he brought to this place was inspiring. I know that it was a very difficult decision for him to retire.” Mr. Gross has served as an influential part of Latin’s community throughout his time at the school. Ultimately, his health is most important, and his retirement was well deserved. And while his position will be replaced, his memory will never be. He will always be remembered for the dedicated, inspiring, and caring teacher that he was.]]>