Farewell to KHS’s Realest Art Teacher Mr.Bednarczyk

Juliette Viera


Blue polo shirt, clean neat glasses, old paper cuts, and an attitude that never fails to make all of Mr. Bednarczyk’s painting/drawing classes laugh out loud. After 41 years of teaching, Kearny High School will say goodbye to Mr. B. Not only will he be leaving the art room but he will also be leaving behind the hard-working job of set design and building. 

John Bednarczyk has been an art teacher for all his time here at KHS teaching all students and alumni the ability to create, including myself. Some of his alumni include our principal Ms. Richardson who too will be retiring this year. Mr. B will tell you how glad he is to be leaving as he hopes to spend more time painting his landscapes and walking his dogs. As one of Mr. B’s students since 2020, the news came as no surprise knowing that retiring and leaving was one of Mr. B’s best topics that he could go on and on about. Always speaking about his age and how crazy students have always driven him were just some of the few things people would remember him by. 

I was already interested in art and drawing when starting his Painting 1 class as a sophomore. Mr. B was amazed by a single sphere assignment I turned in and immediately requested for me to partake in next year’s AP studio art class. That class later became my absolute favorite class in all my high school experience. Just eight students sitting in a freezing cold ice box of a classroom during 8th period painting away. There I built up my portfolio with his help and was thrown into his lighting crew which later became the bane of my existence. Mr. B never failed to make the few of us laugh with the out-of-pocket things he would say in class and show rehearsals. Always in the 238N art room is where you’d find him typing up an email or searching for a specific painting in an art gallery he saw weeks ago. Mr. B was one of the few teachers who made me feel special and proud of myself. After helping me with my portfolio I scored a four which he would later boast about to the next year’s AP class and praise me for my hard work ethic that I’ve always felt was unrecognized. Being a part of his last years here at KHS is really something special to my senior self. 

I’m not the only gushy dork saying my farewell. As a surprise for Mr. B, the Kearnian contacted some teachers, students, and alumni to write their own goodbyes to him. 

Starting with the partner in crime Ms. Gonzalez, the musical theater teacher and one of Mr. B’s biggest fans: 

“Mr. B.,

I cannot imagine what Musical life will be without you. You are an incredible artist, set designer, and lighting director. You beautifully and tastefully brought all of my crazy ideas to life on stage. Most importantly, you have been an incredible human, and when I say you’re my favorite person I am not “full of cr*p” as you so often accuse me of being. I’m sure you do not realize the tremendous impact you have made on me in such a short amount of time working together, but you have been the father figure I have missed for so many years. Your kind words and sometimes blunt words have touched my heart in a way I cannot explain. You genuinely care about the students, your colleagues, and your passion for art is so admirable. I am going to miss your sense of humor, your charisma, and your famous “doodle do’s.” In my eyes, NO ONE will ever fill your shoes because you are PERFECT to me! I wish you all the best on your retirement and I hope you realize how you have changed lives including mine without even trying!



Ms. Gonzalez”


Victoria Kulikowski, one of Mr. B’s last AP studio art student and principal lighting crew member: 

 “ Dear Mr. B, 

You’ve been a great mentor to me in all the years I’ve been at KHS after my virtual freshman year! Seeing you almost year-round has really made you one of my most valued teachers, especially since I know this will be my last month in class with you teaching. By participating in two summer programs, drawing class, and your AP Studio class, my skills and ideas have developed dramatically. Under your instruction, I have completed just over 20 paintings, much more than I could have ever imagined, and so many drawings to go along with them. Other teachers are definitely not kidding when they say that Mr. B is the best in the school! Being introduced to lighting through you, our crew knows he often ends up staying late and does so much for Kearny High’s theater department that it is such a shame to see him go after multiple successful productions. From a student to a teacher that I’ll remember forever, I am sincerely wishing him the best in his future with his family and whatever projects he has planned! 


Thank you Mr B!!! Enjoy your retirement!! 



Nia Brathwaite, lighting crew spotting members: 

“You have made my high school experience a little more fun. Doing lighting has helped me not only feel involved but also just genuinely made me feel happy.

Every day I would look forward to going to rehearsals and helping out with either the spotlights or helping to program the stage lights. I enjoy it when I see you in the hallways and we have a quick chat about how we are doing. I was happy when I would stay late after school to help with the props for the musical this year.

You always help the theater department so much I don’t know what we are going to do without you. Everyone is going to miss you so much and I’m sad to see you go especially since it’s MY junior year. But I honestly wish you the best. I hope you enjoy that retirement especially because you won’t have your funny and amazing students to keep you busy. We will forever miss you.”


Alumni, class of 2022, and former AP studio art student, Marissa Costa:

“To the wonderful Mr. B,

Being your student and working with you during the musical season has made a very big impact on my life, especially in my senior year. I truly appreciate you pushing me to do my best in your class and our long talks about how stressful the musical season can get. I will forever miss all of your small jokes and your blunt comments that I found a little funny at times. I hope you have a great retirement and that you get all the time in the world to work on the little paintings you always leave on your desk. Thank you for teaching me, caring about me, and pushing me to do my best in everything I did. Relax and enjoy it because you deserve it.

With love,

Marissa Costa”


Adrian Linares, current AP studio art and one of Mr. B’s Independent study students:  

“Meeting Mr. B before his retirement has been a tremendous blessing to me. As a child, I always had a pencil and paper next to me, eager to draw. Unfortunately, I lost my passion for art over time. But thanks to Mr. B’s painting classes, my love for art has been rekindled. Mr. B welcomes anyone who is willing to put in the effort to learn art. I have seen significant growth in my artwork thanks to his guidance and dedication to his students. The art room provided me with all the necessary resources to bring my ideas to life. Discussing my ideas with Mr. B has helped me improve significantly as an artist. I am extremely grateful to Mr. B for being a motivating, guiding, and supportive force in my art journey. He has had a profound impact on his students, and I hope he enjoys his retirement while focusing on his own artwork.”

-Adrian Linares


      While goodbyes can be tough, Mr. B smiles his way out of the school and into a relaxing new routine. With warm regards and lots of memories KHS says farewell to the realest man to roam around these halls.