Farewell to Mr. Ianelli


Emel Barry

Farewell to Mr. Ianelli

Emel Barry, Reporter

After teaching Science classes at Hampton Bays for over 20 years, Mr. Iannelli will be retiring this year. He has had many roles and accomplishments throughout his years working here and will deeply miss going to school every day.

Mr. Iannelli says that his favorite part about teaching is the everyday connection that he has with his students and having the opportunity to help them be successful in their future. He began teaching here at Hampton Bays in 2001. He first taught Earth Science, eighth grade Science, and Marine Science. Over the years, he has also taught seventh grade Science, Living Environment, and Forensics. Mr. Iannelli says that his favorite class to teach was Marine Science. “I like helping the students appreciate the environment that we have available to us here in Hampton Bays”. He enjoys being able to help students understand why people from all over the world want to visit and to realize how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area. He even has a wall of tanks in his classroom where you can find a variety of fish and reptiles to give students a hands-on learning experience. He told me that one of the many things he will miss about his job is taking care of the plants and animals in the classroom as soon as he arrives each morning. “It’s very relaxing,” he says. 

Mr. Iannelli says that one of his proudest accomplishments during his career here was being chosen by Superintendent Lowenthal as the alternative high school director. “I am very proud of being able to help students reach their graduation goals.” One challenge as a teacher has been to find strategies to help students who are not interested in their education or future. He has been very grateful for the opportunity to help students find that motivation. 

One of the biggest challenges that he has faced as a teacher has been the recent changes to his classroom surrounding COVID-19. “This year especially has felt like being a new teacher all over again,” Mr. Iannelli says. Converting his entire curriculum to Google classroom has been difficult at times, but he is also very grateful for the positives that come along with it. “But it has been fun to teach differently and enrich my curriculum. It’s more alive and tangible for students than it used to be”. While speaking about the challenges he has faced as a teacher, he also recognizes the fact that his commute to work has never been a part of that. “I could wake up in the morning and be here in three minutes,” Mr.Iannelli says. He considers himself very lucky to have lived so close to his job because most teachers have a long commute. 

When asked about what he will miss most about working here, Iannelli says that he will miss being able to connect with students, but most of all, his co-workers. “My co-workers, they are like my family. You know, you get so used to seeing them every day and you forget that when it’s over, it’s over.” He explained how he will have to find alternatives to fill the void of missing his co-workers and students but nothing may ever be able to fill that void. 

After his retirement, he hopes to be elected to the Board of Education to help Hampton Bays reach its future goals. He has learned a lot during his time running for this position. “It’s been very exciting, but it’s not always easy to promote yourself,” Mr.Iannelli says. “Being insecure always makes me more productive. It’s what drives me to take myself to the next level.” He is also looking forward to spending more time with his family, working on construction projects, and playing with his band more often. Yes, one of your favorite Science teachers is in a band! He has been playing the guitar since he was 13. His band goes by the name, “The Hackensack Men & The Trenton Horns” and is an 11 piece R&B band that has been performing in the New York area for over 30 years. He has been playing with them for over 12 years and has performed at a few local venues such as The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett. He says that he will be sure to let us know about future performances. 

Mr. Iannelli has some very useful advice for new teachers. He explained to me how important it is for teachers to find a good balance between their mental health and their work. “As a young teacher, you must find a balance with how much stress you put upon yourself,” he says. He has learned that if you are stressed all of the time, you will not be able to work to the best of your ability. “Find ways to focus on your own mental health and that will really help the way you teach in the classroom.” 

 When asked about what they have learned from him over the years, his co-workers had nothing but amazing things to say. “Mr. Iannelli has been a wonderful advocate and educator for any student who was fortunate to have him as a teacher or advisor,” said Dr. Forsberg. “He was always willing to assist and was a great neighbor to help me solve any myriad of hurdles that would face a Science teacher or classroom any day.” Mrs.Turnbull says, “One thing I will miss the most about working with Mr. Iannelli is his passion for teaching. He shows his passion through his involvement with the students, their hobbies, science activities, and the surrounding community.” She also says that Mr. Iannelli taught her the importance of empathy. “I have learned how to work through feelings of perceiving a student’s difficulties. Sometimes, things that appear obvious to me are a nightmare to students.”

Anyone that has worked with or had Mr. Iannelli as a teacher knows how much of a positive impact he has left within our school and community. He is my Forensics teacher this year and always makes class super fun and laid-back while learning a lot at the same time. This is something that every student appreciates especially during such a stressful year. He not only teaches us Science, but he has taught us some very important life lessons as well.