Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Santora


Meghan DeHaven

Mr. Santora blows the whistle to start the tug of war competition at the Homecoming Spirit Assembly in September.

A class where students from all around the school can come to take a break, get active, and have fun. That’s the dream of Bethel Park Phys. Ed. teacher, Mr. Santora.

Santora, who has been teaching for 17 years, decided to teach PE because he was a lifelong athlete.  He always played sports as a kid and didn’t want to fall into the trap of sitting behind a desk for his whole career.

“My entire life I grew up playing soccer and hockey… anything active I was pretty much into.”

Santora teaches at both the high school and middle school levels, both Phys. Ed and Health.

“I consider my job to be the best job in the world,” Santora said. “I really enjoy getting to know the personality of my students. Who they are, what they do, and what their interests are. Teaching PE, I enjoy playing the activities, moving with my students, and seeing them improve as they go through them.”

If a kid leaves my class having a better day than when they came in, I feel like I did my job.

— Mr. Santora

Santora, while teaching his students in PE, also started the Ski Club at the high school. He grew up skiing and snowboarding and wanted to share that passion with students. Santora said, “I’m very much looking forward to bringing it back in the fall, and going full speed ahead in trying to get five or six groups out.”

Outside of school, Santora is a huge family person. He loves spending time with his kids and is glad that his own adoration for sports is shared with them.

Santora said, “My favorite thing to do outside of school is be with my kids and coach their sports… I really enjoy being with them and seeing them participate.”

When he’s all said and done with teaching, a dream for Mr. Santora would be to move out to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

“It’s one of the most beautiful places in the country,” he said. It would allow him to seek out a balance of peace and the ability to stay active.

Santora’s biggest mission is to create a positive environment for his students to come, stay active, and take a short break from academics while having fun.

“[My biggest pet peeve] is probably people who are not kind. Everybody can have bad days, but the ones who are really tough to be around are the ones that are always negative. Everybody is entitled to being happy…but it’s the ones that are consistently negative towards other people.”

In addition to freshman gym, Santora also teaches an elective gym class. He encourages everyone to join him and put it on their schedule in the future!