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Know Your Pelicans

Meet José Saltos (he/him)

Upper School Science Teacher

Know Your Pelicans

What are your impressions of Packer so far? Our students? Your colleagues?

Packer is an exceptional school with a long and storied history and a diverse student body. The faculty and staff demonstrate great care and commitment to the students' growth and well-being. As an educator at Packer, I am grateful for the supportive and collaborative environment fostered by my colleagues. This spirit of teamwork enables all of us to thrive professionally and focus on providing the best possible education to our students. I find working at Packer to be incredibly rewarding, as I witness the students learning, thriving, and pursuing their passions.

What do you teach? What is one of your favorite parts of the curriculum? 

I teach 10th grade chemistry, and 11+12th grade electives: Inorganic and Organic Chemistry. My favorite part is the students embracing the role of young scientists, investigating complex concepts about which they have limited prior knowledge. They design and carry out experiments, collect and analyze data, and draw conclusions. I relish the opportunities to engage students in discussions about refining their experimental methods and making evidence-based inferences. Even when grappling with demanding content, we find enjoyment in the scientific process.

Outside of your job at Packer, what do you love to do?

I enjoy family time, whether it's watching movies with my girls, or spending time cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, or playing board games. I also enjoy listening to all types of music especially heavy metal, which I find relaxing.

What's one thing most people at Packer would not know about you?

One thing that most people would not know about me is that I used to play the drums in a rock band back in the day.

Tell us about a specific time you found your job especially rewarding. 

As a teacher, I’m lucky to be able to witness that special ‘aha’ moment, when students' eyes light up with understanding. I teach to inspire a love of learning that I hope will last their whole lives. I take pride in nurturing their intellectual curiosity, instilling confidence, guiding them to think critically, and seeing students thrive academically and personally. I want them to recognize that with knowledge comes power—the power to change their lives and the world around them.

What are the strengths of your department?

Our department is strong and supportive. There is always someone willing and eager to offer a second opinion on a classroom activity, or on how to introduce a new unit, or how to approach a difficult topic. We have the best laughter too!

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