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Students Remember Beloved Teacher: Mr. Platt

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Students Remember Beloved Teacher: Mr. Platt

Jessica Smith and Madisen Snyder

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Warren Hills’ beloved Theater Arts teacher and drama director, Clifford Platt, sadly passed away on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at New York Presbyterian/ Columbia University Medical Center in N.Y.C.

Platt was born on June 26, 1955, in Rahway, New Jersey. Son of the late Nat and Alice Albert Platt, he lived in Clinton, NJ for the past 20 years. Celebrating 30 years of marriage, he was the husband of Rosemarie Platt.

He studied the arts at Bloomfield College in NJ, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976, and his Master’s in Art therapy from New York University in 1979. While at college, he enjoyed playing soccer.

Before becoming a teacher, he worked as an actor. He performed and directed in regional theater at venues such as Edison Valley Playhouse and Villagers Theater.

After, he began working as a teacher at Warren Hills Regional High School for the past 18 years. He taught Theatrical Arts, Public Speaking, and directed the school plays and musicals. He was also very active in numerous outreach programs such as Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and library showcases for anti-school violence and anti-bullying.

During his time here at Warren Hills, he inspired so many students, being not only a mentor, but a friend as well.

“He was just awesome. He made every day enjoyable even when you didn’t have him in class.  He always found a way to make you smile or laugh,” said senior Brian Quigley. “Freshman and sophomore year were rough times and he was just there.  He was someone I could go to talk and someone who had some of the best advice.  You could go to him and talk about anything.  He truly cared about his students.”

Senior Cody Jackson said, “A lot of people aren’t comfortable performing on stage but he would do this thing, and no one knows exactly what it was but he treated you like a friend and he believed in you 100% of the time.  He never made you feel like you were performing on stage, he made you feel like you were playing a character.”

“When you lose someone that is a teacher that you were so close to and you explain it, it doesn’t feel right to say my theatre teacher just passed away, it was like my best friend just passed away.  It’s like this big part of you is taken out and you have to fill it with other things but there is always going to be this little part of him that’s still there,” said Jackson.

“He always knew exactly what to say to nudge someone in the right direction, onstage and off,” Jackson continued.

“He also knew when you needed to struggle a little and figure it out for yourself.  I really miss that, but I’m grateful I experienced it when I did,” commented senior Lianna Johnson.

“Platt,  more so than any other teacher I’ve had, was just such a good friend.  He made jokes and was kind and he just had a way of making fun of you, but in a way, you knew he did it because he loved you,” said senior Benjamin Larson.  “He knew how to be a great teacher and even better friend.  Every note or lesson he gave, everyone took to heart.  He just had a way of working with us that was so unique and is something I will never forget.”

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Students Remember Beloved Teacher: Mr. Platt