"I enjoyed it, even though it was a lot of discipline," he said. "The kids in those days were nice to deal with."
Former colleague Richard Pack, who took over as science chairman at Toll when Liotta was promoted to assistant principal, said Liotta was respected by students and teachers alike. Personally, Pack said he respected Liotta's opinions on all things science-related, and he values their friendship to this very day.
"He was a role model for teachers, as far as caring for students and knowing his subject well," Pack said. "He probably was the most popular and best-loved teacher and administrator as well when he became vice principal."
Liotta said initially he was interested in studying medicine when he attended UCLA in the 1940s. But, as his college years passed, he became intrigued in teaching, and in 1945, he graduated with his teaching credentials. Less than one week later, he began working at Toll, teaching a full-year science course — one semester focused on biological sciences, the other centered on an introduction to all sciences.
Liotta's habit for taking pictures of assemblies and his students earned him a ninth-grade photography class — even though he didn't have a background in the subject. He grew to love teaching photography so much that in 1980, while serving as assistant principal at Toll, he decided to teach an evening introductory course at Glendale Community College.
"I enjoyed that very much," he said. "It was so much fun for me, so enjoyable. I even wrote my own textbook for the class and got it published and copyrighted. It was a subject that was very popular at the time."