Linchpins: Mr. Mackereth


Gracie Rice, Staff Writer

There are so many students, staff, and teachers in a school. So, is it truly possible for one person to hold a school together?

Many people say Mr. Jim Mackereth holds Bellwood-Antis together. He’s not only loved by many students at Bellwood but also his fellow teachers, as well.

“Mr. Mackereth is a great friend and coworker,” said Mr. Bill Crowell, who works alongside Mr. Mackereth teaching industrial arts.

Mr. Mackereth’s interest in teaching¬† was inspired by his father, who was an FFA advisor at Clearfield High School for 35 years.

Within the first couple of years at Bellwood, I knew that working in this district was my ‘calling.’

— Mr. Mackereth

He began his successful career in the fall of 1985 at Mercer School District (North of Pittsburgh) and then moved to Bellwood in 1986. He has been teaching for 37 years, with 36 years being at Bellwood.

“Within the first couple of years at Bellwood, I knew that working in this district was my ‘calling,’ and I have enjoyed being here for my entire career,” said Mr. Mackereth, who had two sons come through B-A and graduate.

Though he may be known as a no-nonsense teacher, Mr. Mackereth has had some funny moments at B-A over the years.

“I once had a student in shop that liked to shake a can of paint up and down as hard as he could to mix the paint. Even after warning him many times how unwise that was, he eventually shook a gallon of white paint without checking to see if the lid was tight on the can,” Mr. Mackereth recalled. “On the first upward shake, nearly the entire gallon shot straight up into the air, and then splashed down on him like a Nickelodeon TV show. If that was not funny enough, he removed his safety glasses to reveal his two eyes, which were the only part of his head and shoulders that wasn’t covered in white paint. I still remember that moment as if it were yesterday.”

Though his career spans parts of five different decades, Mr. Mackereth and his style of teaching continues to resonate with the young people he guides.

“Mr. Mackereth taught me a lot, but mostly how to problem solve,” said freshman Johanna Heckman. “I’ve messed up projects and he really helped me and made sure I understood rather than just got it done.”

To say Mr. Mackereth loves Bellwood would be an understatement. He says he loves how close knit the community is and that it’s truly a great place to raise a family.