West Babylon has been James Egbert’s professional home for more than two decades. Immediately after his hiring in 1996, he pioneered the district’s highly lauded inclusion program that stands today as the undisputed gold standard of teaching and learning excellence.
A Hauppauge native and graduate, Mr. Egbert went on to attend SUNY Plattsburgh and earn double Bachelor Degrees in both English as well as Education. His first teaching position at Saint Mary Gate of Heaven in Queens was not in English, but interestingly enough, Biology and Earth Science. This breadth of knowledge comes as no surprise once you begin to converse with him; James is well-versed in many topics, issues, and of course, authors.
Of the many accolades Mr. Egbert has earned during his tenure in the West Babylon Union Free School District, his being a recipient of the West Babylon Alumni Foundation’s Board of Directors’ Award is truly the sweetest, given his tireless contribution to the young people of this district. He has always maintained the core philosophy that a classroom should promote intellectual curiosity and through the Socratic Method, students are empowered to present and defend their ideas in a congenial, supportive atmosphere. His adherence to this philosophy has made him one of the most consistently requested, beloved, and recognized teachers on all of Long Island, in addition to having won The West Babylon Teacher of Excellence award, the highly coveted Coca-Cola Award, as well as the Harvard Club of Long Island’s Distinguished Teacher Award.
If you asked James what the greatest triumph of his English career is he would share it is the Veterans Day Project that he founded and has continued for over 14 years. A fully fashioned class project featuring interviews to artwork to family photos, these student-edited editions are printed and bound by the High School Print Shop to be distributed to a host of veterans and affiliated organizations. To date, over 30,000 copies have been distributed worldwide.
When James Egbert is not in the classroom, he can be found in the kitchen of his North Shore home preparing classic dishes or in his workshop restoring antiques and crafting wooden furniture. A perfect day for him is entertaining family and friends at his home alongside the loves of his life: his beautiful wife of 21 years, Tricia, and their dog, Thea.