County Executive teaches at St. Joe’s
County Executive Steve Bellone has recently returned to the St. Joseph’s College adjunct teaching faculty, providing first-hand experience to the political science students by teaching a course in state and local government this semester in Patchogue.
Bellone taught at the college previously during his time as the Town of Babylon supervisor from 2006 to 2011. After deciding to run for county executive, he took some time off, with the intention of returning.
“I missed it and knew I would go back,” said Bellone. “I have always loved teaching. It was something I wanted to do in the past, but chose to serve in government instead.”
Since Bellone reached out over the summer, St. Joe’s senior vice president Dr. Christopher Frost said there happened to be an opening in the very same class he used to teach. Since January, Bellone has been teaching one class of about 16 students every Tuesday and Thursday night.
“He is someone still active and in the hotbed of what he’s teaching. It helps students understand exactly how this becomes real beyond the classroom,” Frost said. “Experiential learning is one of the things that distinguishes St. Joe’s.”
The enrolled students, Frost explained, find him engaging and dynamic.
“I love the interaction with the students,” added Bellone. “We talk about what’s happening right now. It’s very timely. St. Joe’s is a great institution with a wonderful environment.”
He said he hopes to return to teach the same class again next semester. Frost said they are happy to have him.
“Being the county executive makes it a little more real for them,” said Bellone. “We are not talking abstract. I can talk to them very directly and personally by bringing my experiences to the classroom.”
Junior Conor Johnson, president of the Political Science Club, said though he is not currently enrolled in Bellone’s class, he plans to be next semester. So far, the students, he explained, have been raving about his class.
“I think the county executive in his current capacity gives the students an excellent opportunity to learn current and real experiences,” said Johnson. “The thing about him is that he has a great personality and really wants his students to learn as much as they can and to be civically engaged.”
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