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Music teacher breaks leg, stays for play

East Northport music teacher Rebecca Posteraro.

East Northport music teacher Rebecca Posteraro.

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East Northport music teacher Rebecca Posteraro has heard all the jokes already.

Yes, she fractured her left leg rushing backstage, just before her students at Bellerose Elementary were to begin Tuesday's opening-night performance of "Cinderella Kids."

No, she doesn't need anyone to tell her she didn't literally have to "break a leg" before the curtain went up.

Posteraro said that as soon as she hit the floor, she knew she had broken something.

She should have left.

But she didn't want to scare or disappoint the kids. She fell right in front of them and could see the fear in their faces.

"They worked so hard," she said, recovering at home. "I couldn't let them be distracted by that."

So she stayed.

Fellow teacher Jon Meyers half-carried her to the front row so she could conduct the play - seated - as Meyers iced her leg.

Watching as Posteraro was helped to her seat, Principal Barbara Falotico wondered if it was part of the show. She soon realized the teacher was hurt despite the smile on her face.

"I wanted her to leave, but she was so engrossed and wouldn't even meet my eyes," Falotico said. "I couldn't pull her out of there without disrupting the whole show."

Parents, including doctors, in the audience were concerned, and someone called an ambulance and gave her a quick once-over as soon as the curtain closed. They even called ahead to Huntington Hospital to tell the staff that Posteraro was on her way.

"It's not as horrible as it sounds," said Posteraro, who doesn't want the credit her colleagues heaped upon her.

They say the experience was an important lesson for her students in dedication, perseverance and, well, about how the show must go on.

Posteraro is wearing a soft cast on her fractured fibula. She's going to be on crutches for four to six weeks and hopes to return to school on Feb. 28.

Posteraro, embarrassed by the attention, just wants to get back to work.

"There is not a single teacher who wouldn't have done the same thing," she said.

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