Goodbye Mr. Otto!

Sophie Tay, Writer

Goodbye Mr. Otto!

With the return of Ms. Cerqua, Manhasset High School said goodbye to one of their most beloved teachers, Mr. Otto, on March 22nd. In the seven months that Mr. Otto was a substitute teacher for, it is easy to say that he was loved by most, if not, all of his students and everyone was sad to see him go, but will remember him fondly.


“I thought Mr. Otto was a great teacher,” says Jaden Fashingbauer, a student in Otto’s 10H class, “He always put a lot of thought into how he taught… and was so understanding. Even though it’s an honors course, he made it a lot less stressful for students.”


Arjun Saini, Otto’s 9R student, agrees, saying how he “was very supportive of his students and wanted to see us succeed.”


Overall, Mr. Otto was a wonderful teacher for his students and his methods were new and engaging. According to Saini, “his teaching methods allowed everyone in class to feel like they were intelligent… he gave everyone a chance to shine. Even the kids who weren’t as comfortable in the class prior… were able to sharpen their public speaking skills and other social interaction skills because of his interactive style [of teaching].”


Otto had a talent for “mixing fun with work,” as said by Fashingbauer, and was able to keep his classroom a safe and fun learning environment for everyone: “He made what I thought to be a stress-filled class into a class I looked forward to every day.” His friendly nature and frequent pop culture references made the classroom a welcoming and fun place where even the worst students could find enjoyment.


It’s clear that Mr. Otto was an outstanding teacher who always helped everyone in his classes excel and took extra care to make sure they all understood the material completely. Yet on top of that, his relationship with his students was what made them all adore him.


Saini described it as a ” teacher-friend” rather than “teacher-student,” making Otto an “extremely relatable figure” with “a great relationship with all of his students.” 


It is evident that Otto’s short time with these students will leave a lasting impression and powerful impact on everyone he interacted with. “He would frequently host GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) meetings,” according to Saini, and made sure to keep his classroom a safe place for everyone. 


His welcoming nature drew in all students, even the ones he didn’t teach, as Fashingbauer can recall that “over 200 students signed the petition to keep him and students that didn’t even have him as a teacher came to his classes to give him a hug and say goodbye.”


Now that Manhasset has had the wonderful opportunity to have Mr. Otto as a teacher, the school won’t be the same without him. He touched many students during his time with us and got everyone excited to learn about history! We will remember Otto’s time at our school fondly, with “his positivity and genuine care for the students that made a lot of people’s days better” in our hearts as the year goes on.