Patriot Press

Remembering Mr. Auletta

Mr.+Auletta%2C+celebrating+with+the+2017+AP+Bio+students
Mr. Auletta, celebrating with the 2017 AP Bio students

Mr. Auletta, celebrating with the 2017 AP Bio students

Mr. Auletta, celebrating with the 2017 AP Bio students

Lindsey Golotko, Editor-in-Chief

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It is with great sorrow and heartbreak that the students and faculty at Freehold Township High School mourn the loss Mr. Thomas Auletta. On Friday, March 9th, Mr. Auletta passed away from complications surrounding a pneumonia diagnosis. He was much more than just a teacher or colleague, rather a friend and supporter for anyone and everyone.

In Mr. Auletta’s mind, teaching always came first. He received a bachelor’s degree from Richard Stockton College and also studied a year of economics at Rutgers University. He had been teaching high school students since 1996 and was introduced into the FTHS home in 1998. He was a teacher of honors biology and AP biology, two of the most rigorous courses offered in the school.

His teaching methods, although sometimes unconventional, reflected his passion for not only the environment, but also his students. He wanted nothing more than for his students to succeed. In his own mind, his students were the people who were going to shape the future of the world. Being that most of his pupils had an interest in the medical field, he took the extra time to reiterate all of his points, stressing the importance of each lesson learned. He was often quoted saying “biology is the basis of life and without it we’d all be dead.”

His love for his students was obvious even on the day of his passing. On that Friday, during the middle of the day, Mr. Auletta posted an assignment for his students to complete, trying to help them perfect their skills for the upcoming AP exam. When he was supposed to be taking care of himself, his selfless attitude shined through and put his students first.

He was not just a colleague to the staff at FTHS, he was so much more. He was known as one of the few early risers to come to school at what seemed like the crack of dawn. He was often the first to the copy machine, making everyone else form a line behind him. He was the type of person in the hallway to always say hi. He cared about how other teachers taught, but more importantly, he cared about how his fellow staff members were doing. He formed strong relationships with many members inside and outside of the science department.

His dedication to decency and fairness extended far beyond the walls of FTHS. He was an advocate for change in the real world, as well. He was a member of the Green Party and even ran in a couple local elections. He believed that the two party system was leading to the demise of New Jersey due to the fact that the nominees were tied down by campaign contributions from companies, businesses, etc. He felt each candidate should be funded by the people, and if this idea were to come to fruition, the environment and livelihood of our state would be able to thrive again. He wanted to live in a place he was proud of. He was a huge proponent of advocacy and believed the common people were the ones who could made a change.

Mr. Auletta definitely had his quirks that made him more lovable to those who met him. His list of signature of phrases, which included telling his pupils to “run like the wind…like the wind” when they forgot something or his signature “flip-flip” when checking homework, will forever be in the minds of former students. He was whacky with his teaching methods — breaking meter sticks, crawling on desks, lighting things on fire, and drinking tea out of a beaker were normal occurrences and would never be questioned. When you walked by Mr. Auletta’s classroom, laughter would often radiate. His students had a respect for him that he emulated back, which is why both were so successful.

If there was anything Mr. Auletta loved more than teaching it was his dog and his boat. When people think or talk about him, these two topics often come up. For some span of time, his computer picture was a picture of the dog on the boat. His personal examples in class emulated his love as well. His heart was so big and his love was endless.

Mr. Auletta was truly a unique soul who will forever be missed. For those who did not have the opportunity to meet him, they missed out on his infamous life lessons and unorthodox ways. For those who had the time to know Mr. Auletta, they are extremely fortunate to be exposed to a man full of character, pride, and respect. His presence at FTHS will be remembered through stories and memories as we try to imitate his truly one-of-a-kind demeanor. Rest in peace Mr. Auletta; you will forever be cherished.

 

Read testimonials from staff and students about Mr. Auletta here

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Remembering Mr. Auletta