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Students cause drama over dismissal of popular teacher

Students and parents rally while a drama teacher's job remains in limbo.
TimesLedger Newspapers

Parents and students are still calling for an encore in the career of a beloved drama teacher.

After theater teacher Evan Behlivanis, 31, was told in late July that his position at PS/IS 119 in Glendale was being eliminated due to budget constraints, supporters mobilized and rallied to try to save his job.

Behlivanis was not fired, but instead he was excessed — or placed in a pool of teachers to get substitute jobs, according to a school official.

The city Department of Education said the process of excessing teachers is based on seniority and is done at the principal’s discretion. A DOE spokeswoman said teachers who are excessed do not lose their jobs and can look for work within the city’s education system.

Students created a Facebook page to try to save Behlivanis’ position at the school in mid-August — the page currently boasts more than 500 members. Close to 50 students sat in on the first Community Education Council 24 meeting of the school year Aug. 28 to protest the move.

According to the Facebook page, students and parents plan to keep attending the weekly meetings.

The school’s principal could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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