Teacher runs for school board

Salituro discusses teaching career, aikido, reason for District 25 Board of Education campaign

From practicing martial arts to being a national leader for teaching sociology, sociology teacher Christopher Salituro has brought his unique experiences to Stevenson.

Salituro, a teacher at Stevenson for 18 years, spent the beginning of his career teaching English at a school in Japan. Although it was a difficult adjustment, he described the experience as eye-opening and amazing.

While in Japan, Salituro studied aikido, a nonviolent martial art. His instructors didn’t speak very much English.

“You learn through just doing,” Salituro said. “Your goal is to harmonize all the energy of the universe.”

He recalls another memorable moment of eating fish on a stick at the highest waterfall in Japan, an experience he knows he would never have had in the United States.

The effects of culture are also focused on in the course Salituro teaches, sociology. “We talk about sociological mindfulness,” Salituro said.

He wants students to recognize that they have an influence in society and that they are influenced by society as well.

Salituro believes that students are too often wrongly told that their actions at this age don’t matter, or won’t ever have much of an impact. “You already are in the real world,” he said.

Next year, Salituro will be the only teacher to teach the new course Sociology Honors. He is excited to go more in depth with student and about the prospect of a student-designed final research project.

Salituro became inspired to run for the District 25 Board of Education after spending time at his daughters’ schools.

“In being involved in their schooling and volunteering, I’ve asked a lot of questions to the district about different things that they do and based on their answers, I felt like I had a lot of perspective to share from Stevenson,” Salituro said.

Salituro is running on the idea of aligning the Arlington Heights schools’ curriculums both vertically and horizontally, meaning that students in the same classes will all learn and master the same material and have the same level of readiness for the next class to come.

As of right now, Salituro believes the district relies too heavily on standardized testing to place students into classes, and that there isn’t enough flexibility after they are placed.

“I’ve met many parents whose students say ‘I want the opportunity to do those other classes, I’m getting all A’s in the classes that I’m in and I want the opportunity to be challenged,’” Salituro said.

Salituro thinks the district should work with students and parents to give them those opportunities. He suggests a more subjective approach with placement, including grades, skills and teacher recommendation.

“I also like the idea from Stevenson and want to bring to District 25 the vision of success for every student, Salituro said. “That’s creating the circumstances for each individual student to reach his or her potential.”