Marco F. Cera, who grew up in the same area where he would eventually become an educator, held a business job before switching professions to education and becoming a social studies teacher. Eventually he was able to work his way up the role of principal at Briarcliff in 2010.
However, in August 2011 he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, according to the North Jersey Record. No reason for his diagnosis, or how he may have been exposed to asbestos that could have led to it, was given.
"He faced it heroically," said Marco’s father, Anthony Cera. "He thought he could beat it, and he operated that way, even though he was wasting away, even until he died. He thanked us all, told us what a wonderful family he had."
For much of the 20th century, schools constructed in the U.S. were built using a number of asbestos products. Even though a number of those products have since been removed through asbestos abatement procedures, many schools still contain asbestos that could be putting students and teachers at risk of developing illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.