Physics students now offered tutoring after teacher resignation


Barbara Tholen

Teacher Jo Huntsinger took on the role of teaching physics after Zach Casey resigned this fall.

By Aiden Ridings, Staff Writer

Physics students at LHS found themselves without an experienced physics teacher after Zach Casey, a well-liked teacher by students, decided to resign. 

In his place there were multiple substitute teachers, with the recently retired Jo Huntsinger eventually stepping in to finish out the year. Huntsinger taught anatomy at LHS.

Each substitute teacher who came brought the same message: I can’t teach you physics, but I’ve been told you’ll be getting a real teacher soon. To help students , tutors from KU were made available after school for physics students. 

“There’s around five [tutors], but usually you end up being put in a breakout room with one of them to work on individual problems,” Bella Kirkwood, a senior enrolled in AP Physics, said.

Students faced technical difficulties making the few tutoring sessions challenging to work through.

“It was a little choppy, there were a lot of technical issues so sometimes the breakout rooms wouldn’t really work so the students would sometimes have to take turns sharing their screens in the main session,” junior Camilla Lynch said. 

As AP Physics students, Lynch and Kirkwood were growing impatient with the school’s inability to find a replacement teacher. Both had planned on taking the AP exam in the spring.

Huntsinger was relieved there was now at least one resource her students could go to for help.

“I am happy that tutors are available.  I have heard positive comments from Mr. Beckerman and a few students about them,” Huntsinger said. “We have been on 2D motion for a month now. I definitely think that it is time to move on. Mr. Casey left all sorts of lectures and resources that will enable students to learn the material. The tutors can help clarify some things for students.”

One struggle that both Huntsinger and Kirkwood raised was the timing of the sessions from 3-4:30 p.m. That timing could interfere with extracurricular activities and sports. 

“My only regret is that the tutors aren’t available during class,” Huntsinger said. “The KU tutors have their own classes that they are teaching and taking though, so the timing doesn’t work out. Students that have time to take advantage of the tutors are definitely benefiting from their experience. The problem is people that have activities or jobs after school. Those students are dependent on other students in class to help teach them the material.”

Despite all the problems and uncertainty surrounding physics classes, the access to tutors has helped to ease students’ anxieties.

“I was planning on canceling my test because I don’t want to deal with the stress of learning everything by myself,” Kirkwood said, “but they definitely help. It’s nice to have some guidance on how to approach problems.”