Bringing “Geek” to the Classroom!


All smiles from the faculty after representing at Comic Con!

Ethan Lopina, News Editor

St. Benedict’s (SBP) own Fantastic four of Ms. Tuorto, Dr. Lamourt, Mr. Duffy, and Mr. Molina had the exclusive privilege of hosting a panel at Comic-Con. New York Comic-Con is the most popular convention for comic books, anime, manga, video games, pop culture, and cosplays on the East Coast. The panel spoke about bringing geek culture into the school environment to help build relationships between students and faculty alike.

The panel started out by introducing SBP Group and its importance at the school. They explained that group is an activity at SBP full of students from freshman to senior year. The activity is a safe place where you can bring your interests, no matter how geeky they may seem. Group helps students overcome the initial shame or even fear of expressing themselves. “Kids will bring to us what they want to engage in with somebody else, but may be a little afraid to ‘out themselves’ . . . for fear of somebody calling it stupid,” stated Ms. Tuorto.

This connection and vulnerability are essential, as Dr. Lamuort said, “to recovering from the pandemic.” The separation caused by being quarantined still greatly affects how kids express themselves now. The isolation caused some people to put up a shield and less engaging with others. While this caused problems with building connections, some teachers, like Mr. Molina, found ways to interact with students. He formed a club based on his interest in movies called Film Club. “I started Film Club and created this incredible bond with about eight students, six of

Another problem many students face is staying connected to the material taught. Alternate assessments are a fascinating way for teachers to make their lessons more engaging for students. Mr. Duffy does this by using the graphic novel March by John Lewis. “The kids open it up, and they’re like, ‘Oh, there are pictures. Wow, I can read this.’ So suddenly, you get to have meaningful conversations while using a graphic novel.” Using a graphic novel instead of a book with only words helps the kids stay engaged.

Dr. Lamourt uses student interest in comic books to help in counseling. Using popular characters like Batman and Spider-Man helps students relate themselves to someone they admire. He said “If I’m watching Spider-Man go through a tremendous grieving process, through empathy, I can identify with that character and begin to talk about [how] I grieve too,” Their interests in comics help them come to know themselves better.

This Comic-Con panel was an amazing opportunity for our faculty at St. Benedict’s to spread the idea of expressing your interests and not being ashamed of yourself. Your vulnerability could inspire other people to speak up as well. You never know if your classmates might like the same “geeky” things as you until you talk about it.