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Last week Asbury Park Public Schools District lost a popular substitute teacher named Gary Salerno, who sent an email to all Asbury Park staff with the subject line “Good Bye APSD!!!” Here Salerno reflects on the joys working with students as a teacher and coach and the difficulties working in the district. He notes that he resigned due to unsubstantiated allegations by two students “that were accepted as truth by Central Administration” because “their perception was going to be the reality in the matter.”
Here is the complete email:
Hey everyone! I wanted to give a last shout out to all the people in the district I know and worked with over the years!! In late June I made the decision to resign from my positions in the APSD. I am writing this email to thank you all one last time for the time I spent in Asbury since 2013 starting as a Substitute Teacher in the middle school. I remember how I was embraced so much as a “good substitute teacher” by the various teachers and staff there. I am sorry that things ultimately did not work out in the district in the long run as I had hoped. I tried, and it was my honest intention to work hard and grow positively in the district and serve the students and administration as best as I could. The reality ended up being that in the APSD that was easier said than done. But I was afforded the opportunity to use my teaching and coaching skills (Long-Term Substitute Teacher, MS/HS Paraprofessional Teacher, Asst. Football, Asst. Track, and Weight Room Coach) I honed over the years and was able to achieve some good success. For that I am very grateful to the district. I have those memories and accomplishments and take them with me moving forward.
I tried to be a role model to the students and athletes I worked with while at the same time being relational enough so as to impact and influence them positively in their attitude toward school, work ethic, doing the right thing and achieving. My greatest satisfaction is to see kids learn and achieve. I tried to “Love them hard and coach them hard” just as I love and coach myself. Again, in Asbury that was easier said than done.
I wish all of you the very best. There are no hard feelings towards anyone in the district or the district in general. Teaching and coaching in Asbury was the will of God for me for a time. To the staff at the high school and middle school to whom I worked closely with over the years, please know you will be dearly missed, and I will reach out to you soon. To everyone else I worked with, a sincere and heartfelt “Thank You” for making my time spent in the APSD rewarding and memorable. I appreciate all of you.
Lastly, sufficed to say, I resigned because allegations were made against me from two students that were accepted as truth by Central Administration. I did not deny the allegations, but the truth is they were unfortunately misinterpreted. I could tell that their perception was going to be the reality in the matter. But they left out some other very important realities. So, I put that together with the way things went for me this past school year and I understood the need to separate now as I continue my goals of always getting better as a Teacher and Coach. I get it and I’m fine with it. Again, I appreciate you all.