William L. Bertoti
Willy Bertoti taught at Pottstown High School in the Automotive Technology Program from 1993 until his untimely death in 2014. He was a Pottstown native, having graduated from the Pottstown High School Automotive Program in 1969. He then served in the Vietnam war from 1969-1972. He worked as a diesel mechanic and then as service manager for a large truck/car company in Reading before he followed his calling and returned at age 44 to teach at the high school when his very own past shop teacher retired.
Willy received his Vocational Education training through Temple University while he was in his 40s and early 50s. Willy was devoted to his students and to the entire Pottstown community! He encouraged his students to be the best that they could be, to strive for excellence and to live grounded in values and integrity. He was a huge promoter of the value and importance of post-secondary education, advising his students to strive to further their education. With the help of his students, Willy was able to rebuild his 1964 Corvette even though he was battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma since 2004. Nothing could keep him from his students and when asked about retirement, he would answer, “No, I can’t go yet; they need me.”
At his funeral more than 40 present and past students, wearing their PHSAutomotive shirts, served as his tearful but proud pallbearers, a testament to an inspirational teacher and an influential role model that they admired and loved.