Fluharty dishes on life experiences


Photo Provided by Michael Purdie

Science teacher Charlie Fluharty speaks to reporters about his life and career. “I spent about 20 hours every weekend doing scholl work ,” Fluharty said.

Katie Salko, Reporter

Who could pull off a safari vest, orange shades, and combat boots? Charlie Fluharty, chemistry teacher and Pep Band supporter, honored Walter Sobchak from “The Big Lebowski” with his winning Halloween costume this year.

Fluharty is from Brooke County, West Virginia, where he took part in Boy Scouts and actively participated in his high school’s “really, really good marching band.”

He has taken the skills that he learned back in high school to direct the school’s Drum Line, which performs at football games with the Varsity Pep Band.

Although he enjoys playing and promoting school spirit, one part of his role that he dislikes is standing up—and speaking—in front of a crowd.

He doesn’t want the audience to think to themselves, “‘You teach chemistry, what would you know about music?’,” Fluharty said. “I would lose sleep over that.”

Fluharty is also responsible for being the school representative for the Teachers Association of Baltimore County (TABCO).

“I have been a union representative since the first year I taught,” Fluharty said. Growing up, his father was a part of a union as well through his job at a steel mill.

How does he handle all of these activities and manage to “spend about 20 hours every weekend” on school? He talks with his wife, who is an English teacher at Towson.

“We bounce ideas off of one another,” Fluharty said. “It helps us to decompress.”

We all know Fluharty as a chemistry teacher, but he wasn’t always sure of that path. He got a biology major instead from West Virginia University, but he has never once taught the subject.

“[Originally,] I thought about being a field biologist,” Fluharty said. “I tried to triple major at one point. I do not suggest trying to do that.”

He started out teaching chemistry in Pennsylvania. His first job in Baltimore County was at Lansdowne, where he taught for two years. Eventually, he decided that he needed to leave, and he attended a transfer fair where various teaching positions were being advertised.

“I felt like I was wasting my time [at Lansdowne],” Fluharty said. “Had I not sat down that day, I wouldn’t be here.”