Liberty alumni return as faculty members

While most Liberty Central School District graduates return to
campus only for the occasional reunion or sporting event, some opt
for a more permanent kind of homecoming – as faculty members.

Two Liberty teachers, Elizabeth Fuentes and Kort Wheeler, are one
of many several graduates of the district. As students, these two
alumni embraced their academic excellence to achieve their
degrees; now, they embrace Liberty’s core value of community as
they help “pay it forward” to the next generation of students.

Ms. Fuentes, a math teacher, graduated from Liberty High School in
1998. Not only was she an athletic standout during her years at
Liberty, she was also a member of the band and senior class

Following high school, she studied at Sacred Heart University in
Fairfield, Connecticut, and later at Dowling College in Oakdale,
New York. After a six-year stint teaching at Brentwood Union Free
School District, Ms. Fuentes decided it was time to move back to

“I decided to come back because I loved my time here as a student
and I had some of the best teachers,” she said. “I want my
students to walk out of this school feeling ready for the future
because I prepared them properly, the way my teachers did.”

Walking through the halls each day as a teacher, she said, is a
trip down memory lane.

The ties to Liberty are just as strong for Mr. Wheeler, who also
describes Liberty as his one true home.
Upon graduating from Liberty in 1999, he went to Sullivan County
Community College and St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York City.
He later became a professional golfer.

“After I left the golf business, I decided to become a teacher. I
dropped everything to go back to school,” he said.

As a teacher, Mr. Wheeler said his goal is to show students that
with hard work comes success. According to him, there is no
greater feeling than catching up with a student after their time
at Liberty.

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