New gym teacher a great fit


Photo Credit: Hailey Nirebnberg

Joining the Physical Education team to replace Mr. Karcher, Mr. Gelalia is the newest member of the staff.

by Victoria Messikian, Alumni Editor

From Wayne Hills High School, to Anthony Wayne Middle School, and, finally, (since this past January) to Glen Rock High School, Mr. Gelalia is the newest addition to our Physical Education department.

From a young age, Mr. Gelalia knew that athletics and physical education were something that he was interested in. Inspired by his high school gym teacher, Mr. Byron, Gelalia admired the way he connected with his students.

“He was my baseball coach, so it was kind of a natural fit,” Gelalia said. “I saw how much energy and excitement he brought everyday, and how important it is getting young kids to be active and move, and also how it can really help alleviate a lot of stress and promotes a really good healthy lifestyle… so that was really what got me going into this direction and this particular field.”

With his interest in athletics in high school, where he attended Northern Valley Regional, Mr. Gelalia was involved in his school’s baseball and football teams. These are Gelalia’s “top two favorite sports.”

“You know, people always ask what’s your favorite sport and I say baseball… I think it’s a real thinking man’s game. I know a lot of people think it’s a slow game, but there’s so much that goes into it that, really, I think you break as much of a mental sweat as you do a physical sweat in that type of game,” Gelalia said.

With his love for baseball only growing stronger, he continued to play the game in college at William Paterson University.

“Exercise and Movement Science was my major,” Gelalia said.

Mr. Gelalia’s main suggestion for any student interested in becoming a Physical Education teacher is to try and accommodate every students’ needs and interests.

“You have to find that little niche and mix in what everybody likes,” he said. “If certain students like music, you have to try to incorporate music in Phys. Ed. If they like art, try to incorporate some type of artistic aspect into what we do. Try to really reach out and interest all kids with all different interest levels.”

“You have to be energetic and you have to be able to deal with the ‘controlled chaos,’ where there are a lot of people in one spot, or in an open field, and you have to try to organize that the best you can. So, make sure that you enjoy a little bit of loudness from the students and a little bit of energy from the students,” Gelalia added.

Growing up, Mr. Gelalia had many different ideas about what he wanted to pursue when he became older.

“When I was really young, I wanted to be a scientist. But, academically that just wasn’t a good fit for me, but I did stay in the field of science… which most don’t really know about Phys. Ed.; it’s a heavy science program. But that was my childhood dream aside from being a professional baseball player. Phys. Ed. is where I was meant to be,” Gelalia said.