Thomas Matic

Mr. Tom is definitely a substitute to meet.

Viviana Ortiz, Staff Writer

Tomas Matic is one of two full-time substitutes at West.

Students recognize him in the hallways as he journeys from one class to the next during the day. He doesn’t look like a typical teacher as he dons a hat and usually wears a coat over his teacher’s dress. He smiles easily and remembers students from class to class.

He is an enthusiastic teacher who dresses to stand out.

There is purpose in the way he dresses.

Matic, who tells students to call him Mr. Tom,  describes himself as a “carney.”

He wants to catch the students’ attention and get them to learn. It’s a “Come right up. See the Bearded Lady” kind of approach.

He dresses a little differently to demonstrate being different is good and also a way to catch their attention. 

He notices a lot of students are closed-minded so he welcomes everybody and has them fully engaged in the classwork…

He loves encouraging and inspiring students to achieve their goals.

Out of school, he is still a bit of an eccentric. 

He is married to his wife of 10 years, Eliza. 

After seeing the musical “Hamilton” on Disney Plus, the two of them became enamored with one of the country’s founding fathers.

He and his wife are now a part of a group called the Hamilton Alexander Awareness Society.

Matic and his wife went from being fans to being hooked on Hamilton’s history.

He explains why Hamilton is so popular.

“I believe it is due to the fact that it is an overall desire for people to see a unique retelling of the story of one of America’s most famous founding fathers,” Matic said. 

Matic is just as passionate about his students as he is about Hamilton. He tries to entice them to learn and achieve their goals. 

“He is very helpful even if he doesn’t know much about the subject,” sophomore Desirea Ortiz said about him subbing for art. “He went out of his way to learn something about art so he could help. He goes out of his way to help students.”

Matic also brought his passion for dress and for Hamilton together. The week of the American Revolution Anniversary, Matic had a period costume made that reflected the dress of the time of the United States’ birth. 

That was when he made a gift of history to the West library. He gave the library a Hamilton biography.