Dr. Richard Bernato was actually a recent graduate of St. John’s University in 1969. Finding teaching jobs scarce in New York City, his fortune led him to the expanding Connetquot School District out on Long Island. He began his career in education as a social studies teacher at the Oakdale Bohemia Road Junior High, now the Oakdale Bohemia Road Middle School.
He is now the Assistant Dean of Dowling’s School of Education. In this look back at his early days teaching just up the road from Dowling, Dr. Bernato gives us a glimpse into the wider community. We hear how events like the Kent State shootings, the civil rights movement, and the growth of feminism played out in a junior high setting.
Dr. Bernato also relates his progress as a new teacher learning the ropes – from monitoring the hallways to walking the picket line. These 14 minutes are excerpts taken from a longer oral history with Dr. Bernato archived at the Dowling College Library.