When he started teaching in 1978, Patrick Moriarty passed out worksheets to his science class, showing the trajectories of upcoming eclipses. Only one was expected to pass near their home in upstate New York, but watching it as a class would be difficult – it wouldn’t occur for nearly five decades. “Hey, circle that one on April 8, 2024,” Moriarty recalled telling his students. “We’re going to get together on that one.” His students laughed, they couldn’t possibly think that far ahead. Moriarty, now a junior high school principal, just made good on his promise; he hosted an eclipse party and about 100 of his former students attended. He’d been reminding people over the years and got serious about planning it in April, 2022. He created a Facebook event and tried to track down his roughly 1200 former students. At the eclipse viewing party, what astonished Moriarty was not the eclipse, but his students. “When teachers go into education, they hope they can be that kind of teacher that would have an impact on people and make a difference for people. And this event right here just firmed it up for me that I guess I did okay,” he said.

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