History teacher Larry Mullin is out, replaced by Dr. Jill Beerman

BP Photo by Sara Fletcher

Ari Feuer, Deputy Editor-In-Chief

In a very sudden and still mysterious development, as of last Friday Social Studies teacher Mr. Larry Mullin is no longer employed  at Shalhevet High School.  His AP Government and AP U.S. History classes have been taken over by Just Community Faculty Advisor Dr. Jill Beerman.

No reason was given for the change. Acting General Studies Principal Roy Danovitch said he could not disclose details on the circumstances of Mr. Mullin’s departure, and the future plans of the famously blonde and ponytailed history teacher were unclear.

“I don’t know,” said Mr. Danovitch in a Boiling Point interview, regarding Mr. Mullin’s current employment status.

The change was announced in a series of e-mails and announcements Friday to faculty, parents and students, in which administration officials said that the change would be immediate and permanent.

Mr. Mullin’s AP Government students, all seniors, walked into Room 7 Friday to find Mr. Danovitch announcing the teacher switch to the class at the start of 5thperiod.

SWITCHED: Dr. Jill Beerman greeted her new AP Government students Sept. 16 in Room 8. Photo by Ariela Feitelberg.

His 8th-period AP U.S. History, consisting mostly of juniors, also heard the news from Mr. Danovitch.

“Larry Mullin is not returning,” Mr. Danovitch told the AP Government class. “Dr. Beerman is now teaching…. She is an expert in U.S. History and a scholar in these two classes.”

Moments later, Dr. Beerman—known fondly as “Dr. J” since earning her PhD. in 2008—walked into a classroom and was greeted with applause.

“It’s good to feel wanted back,” said the longtime history teacher, who had been at Shalhevet for 16 years when her teaching position was not renewed last spring.  “Teaching is my vocation, and I love it.”

To many, Mr. Mullin’s sudden exit after two years at Shalhevet and the switch to Dr. Beerman came as bittersweet news.

“Larry Mullin was a friend,” Social Studies and Jewish History teacher Tove Sunshine.  “He was very good at generating discussion… getting people to think about the contemporary significance of issues.”

“I’m also looking forward to having Dr. Beerman back,” she added.

Dr. Beerman told The Boiling Point that she had only been informed of the change on Thursday night, and that she had “a lot of work to do this weekend” to integrate herself into the new classes.

Her title this year has been Moral Development Research Fellow and Just Community Faculty Advisor.  She headed the History Department through 2009-‘10 and over the years taught sophomore American history, AP European History and AP U.S. History. In the early years of the school, she also taught Government and Economics.

Mr.Mullin’s former classes will be Dr. Beerman’s only classes this year.

Parents of upperclassmen received the news in an e-mail sent out by Mr. Danovitch Friday at 9:40 A.M.  The Shalhevet faculty was informed through a very similar e-mail Thursday, just after 11 P.M.

“Together with History Department Chair Dr. Michael Yoss, we have worked diligently on making the transition to Dr. Beerman and smooth as possible,” said Mr. Danovitch’s letter to parents.