Mr. Gus Maurer – Government, Topics, and …Dancing Judge

Mr. Gus Maurer - Government, Topics, and ...Dancing Judge

Elena Tontoni

Mr. Gus Maurer teaches Social Studies from his Kpod classroom at NPHS

Jessica Paradysz, Staff Writer

We have seen him dance onstage with fellow faculty judges at Mr. North Penn and heard him lead the chanting of “drill baby drill” at the mock convention, and some privileged students have listened to him rap, but who really is Mr. Maurer?

Although he is already a seasoned teacher with fifteen years with the district and five at the high school, Mr. Maurer almost did not become a teacher. He knew that teaching would be a great career choice but “[he] didn’t pursue it until [his] late twenties.”

As a Government and Topics in American Life teacher it can be difficult to keep seniors attentive in classes, yet Mr. Maurer’s mantra is to “lecture as little as possible” In Topics he hopes that students will learn “something interesting about the real world that they don’t cover in other classes”

“Mr. Maurer is a one of a kind teacher that makes learning relatable and fun”, states Amanda Tarantino, a senior. “Because I’ve had him for Topics in American Life and Government, I can say his unique style is a refreshing and welcomed part of my day.”

Following this style of learning, every Friday students get competitive about their news knowledge during the weekly news quiz games. Honor and of course, extra credit points are on the line. Another award is a dot, which is placed besides a student’s name if he or she answers a difficult question.

His fellow colleague, Mr. Bill Berardelli, who teaches American history, has nothing but praise for Mr. Maurer.

“As a teacher, [he] is someone who puts himself in the position of his students and thinks about how they like to learn. Students really seem to enjoy his class because they are given a lot of freedom to explore the topics that they cover in class.”

Mr. Maurer teaches mostly seniors and some juniors. He enjoys teaching seniors because they are more mature than middle school students. When seniors graduate in the spring and leave the halls of North Penn forever, although he would like students to remember the three branches of government, he hopes they take away something more: “two things, responsibility and consideration.”

There haven’t been many dull moments in class but one of the craziest involved a microwave and teaching the unification of Italy to ninth graders. Melting Hershey kisses in a Styrofoam cup set the microwave on fire.

Besides thinking of innovative ways to make lessons spark imagination, Mr. Maurer spends his free time fishing, golfing, and biking. In 2006, he visited Paris and followed the Tour de France. There Mr. Maurer saw the beauties of the country including picturesque mountaintop resorts. If he had a passport to anywhere in the world though, the Caribbean would be his ultimate summer vacation destination.

As a typical social studies teacher, he would like to meet one of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson if he could meet anyone from history. Yet Mr. Maurer isn’t completely sure about the first question he would ask the third president of the United States. “How are you doing” is what Mr. Maurer hastily decided on, but that response is perfectly polite and fitting.