Biology teacher Anthony Venezia discusses journey to CHS


Anthony Venezia was temporarily hired as Biology teacher Leah Morgan’s replacement due to her unexpected medical leave.

Isabella Ji and Carla Vreeland

Six years after graduating from Monmouth Regional High School, Anthony Venezia returns to high school as CHS’s newest faculty member.

Venezia was temporarily hired as Biology teacher Leah Morgan’s replacement, after her unexpected medical leave on Jan. 24.

“Mrs. Morgan has a medical condition in which she can’t be in school right now. So the district and Mr. Gleason wanted to look for a replacement,” Wheeler said, “somebody who was biology certified so that they could potentially teach the class as opposed to just a [substitute].”

Though the length of Venezia’s tenure is contingent upon Morgan’s recovery, Venezia is working to maintain an enriching curriculum at CHS, putting his own spin on materials Morgan has given him.

Freshman Siofra King of Atlantic Highlands explains that although students had fallen behind between Morgan’s leave on Jan. 24 and Venezia’s first day on Feb. 10, Venezia was able to quickly transition into the position, moving the class ahead.

“When he came, he gave us a whole class period where he just introduced himself and then we started,” King said. “We were able to catch up and I think that he’s trying to make it as normal to Mrs. Morgan’s class as he can. I think he’s doing a good job for what has been put on him.”

Venezia’s teaching career was unexpectedly prompted during an ordinary conversation with his father. At the end of the conversation, his father gave him the new goal of becoming a teacher.

“I was talking to my father about something and what ended up happening was, I forgot what I was explaining to him, but he said I explained it so well that I might as well become a teacher,” Venezia said. “I thought of it throughout the entire day and that just became my new goal.”

Following this discussion, Venezia graduated high school, got his associates degree at Brookdale in 2018 and got his degree in biology and high school education from Monmouth University, like Morgan.

Upon a family friend’s recommendation, he applied for his current position at CHS, a job that contrasted greatly from his previous substitute teaching positions.

“For my student teaching I went back to Monmouth Regional and that’s a more easily accessible school. It’s not a bad one by any means but the environment there and here, you can hardly compare them,” Venezia said. “The environment that I see here was not what I expected at all.”

Venezia recognized the sophisticated behavior and determination of students at CHS…. Venezia attributes his easier transition with the knowledge of modern media connections and references he shares with students.

“Obviously every person starts somewhere when it comes to teaching and I feel that in this instance,” Venezia said, “I’m kind of in a unique spot because the things that I’ve grown up with are the things a lot of you guys have grown up with… I can speak to them in two ways, both as an instructor and also as a person and speak to what they know.”

In the future, Venezia aims to further his education by getting a special education teacher certification and eventually a masters or doctorate.

Until then and until Morgan is cleared to return safely, Venezia believes he is expected to continue teaching at CHS for the remainder of the year.