From Krop student to teacher, Mr. Rosenthal wins RTOTY

Krop alumnus Ben Rosenthal, our new Communications Technology teacher and Technical Education Department Chairperson, has been awarded Rookie Teacher of the Year.

     Before coming to Krop in 2020, Rosenthal worked as a summer camp counselor, a marketing consultant for a private university, and a substitute. He became interested in teaching following his time spent as a summer camp direct, and credits much of his passion to his own former Krop teachers, Mr. Grant and Mr. Diskin. 

     Like many others who started teaching during the pandemic, he found difficulty adapting to the new protocols that came into place because of COVID. Once Rosenthal arrived on his first day in 2020, he said he found online lectures to be a challenge. Amidst a pandemic, it was a difficult transition from everything he thought he knew about teaching. Having the goal of preparing his students for their future careers, his motivation was to incentivize his students to participate and come to class.

     “I give this job my all,” Rosenthal said. “A lot of other schools in the county with graphics and technicals shut down the lab and make them do bookwork. This is not what this is about, and I got to work a little bit harder to make it happen.”


     Students working heavy machinery (vinyl cutters, heat press, laser cutters) can be dangerous in his Communications Technology class, yet Rosenthal said that he keeps a “calm and collected mind,” which helps with ensuring everything works smoothly.

     With twenty years under his belt handling the machinery, he takes his time to remember that the students who work on the equipment have no experience, and he goes step-by-step in each demonstration, always having the necessary equipment and gear for the job. 

     “Things are only dangerous when you’re not educated and aren’t properly trained,” Rosenthal said. “So it’s all about properly teaching and taking your time, and making sure students follow instructions.”

     To Rosenthal, his biggest accomplishment would have to be one of the classes he teaches: Career Educational Services for People with Disabilities. One of the students in that class has passed the 2019 Adobe Photoshop Certificate exam repeatedly, which he claims to be his biggest achievement as it’s one of the hardest exams to get certified in.

     “He’s one of our most accomplished alumni from Michael Krop,” Office Clerk Nancy Tracy said. “Always smiling, always willing to help. He’s so good with the students, it’s been wonderful being able to see him grow up.”

     Regarding his award, Rosenthal expressed his gratitude towards the other teachers who nominated him. The Rookie Teacher of the Year Project is aimed at bringing recognition to many instructors who deserve acknowledgement for their efforts. The award is given to those who are new to teaching, or have been for no more than five years.

     “It was really cool, it felt really great to be recognized,” Rosenthal said. “I’m excited to go on to the next part of the competition, or award where I go up against the other teachers.”

     From training young camp counselors to becoming the Technical Education Department Chairperson, Rosenthal has shown his passion with teachers through both actions and words. He teaches by a simple principle, which is to get students to come to school. Incentivizing his students with the opportunity to use his machinery to print 3D models or imprint something on vinyl. If they don’t want to learn or pay attention, he won’t force them to. But for those who want to be a part of the learning experience, Rosenthal does his best to cater to the students’ needs. By taking the time to fully support and back each students’ passion project, Rosenthal goes for a more encouraging approach.

     “He’s very engaging and always willing to help a student with what they’re doing,” junior Nhat Van said. “I usually have more grand ideas in class and he’s always supportive of what I want to do. He’s a great teacher and I love his class.”

     Ben Rosenthal is a welcome addition to the Krop family, and gives a breath of fresh air regarding the school atmosphere. His teaching methods provide familiarity to students and his attitude towards us provide a clear sense of sincerity and genuine passion for students in his class to succeed. Rosenthal loves what he does, and that joy is infectious with all of his classes.

     “When this opportunity [teaching] came along, you know I jumped on it, and it’s the best thing I ever did,” Rosenthal said.