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Joseph Burgos joined the faculty of The Gateway School after several involvements with professional football teams as a lineman. He traded in the football locker room for the classrooms of The Gateway School.
While at Temple University, Joe majored in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Early Childhood education. During that time he also had a stint as a Teacher Assistant at an Elementary school in inner city Philadelphia. After leaving Temple University in 1993, Joe went on to play with several football teams in both the Canadian Football league and in the Arena leagues – these included the Toronto Argonauts Football club, the New Jersey Red Dogs Arena Football team and the LA Avengers.
Just prior to coming to The Gateway School in 1998, Joe worked as a Supervisor for an after-school program at a YMCA in Roselle, NJ. He continued to pursue his interest in working with children by beginning at The Gateway School in 1998. He initially started as a Substitute Teacher and later he was hired as a full-time Teacher Assistant. This did not last as another football contract came his way.
During the late 1990’s, with his good looks, Joe was able to land a few commercials on television. Then back in 2000, Mr. Burgos also became a star of the big screen, acting in the fact-based comedy The Replacements starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman. Multi-faceted and multi-talented, he considered a career in Hollywood.
Despite all his many interests and adventures, Joe discovered a true passion for working with students with disabling conditions. He signed on to work with Gateway full-time again in 2002 and he was here to stay. And we are so glad he made that choice! Joe has a presence that the students’ respond to. His height, athletic appearance and booming voice command attention. But Joe has always had a sensitive and compassionate nature that allows him to foster a nurturing rapport with even some of our most challenging students. As a member of the Crisis Prevention and Intervention team, Joe has worked diligently to be able to shape students’ positive and socially appropriate behaviors, even when some of these kids are struggling with their self-control. Joe is universally admired and respected by the students, especially those many adolescents who also dream about success on the football field or basketball court. He is also loved and appreciated by his peers who enjoy his gregarious nature and larger-than-life personality. Not a month goes by without Joe breaking into a resounding rendition of Happy Birthday in the cafeteria, and leading the congregation, upon discovering that it’s someone’s special day – both students and staff!
We are lucky to have “Mr. B”, as he is affectionately referred to, as an important and essential member of The Gateway School team.