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Alumni Spotlight: Philip Salemi, 1989

Each month we will feature a member of our alumni (the League of Knights) to highlight their accomplishments after graduating from IC Catholic Prep. This month, we spoke to Philip Salemi, 1989. Philip is currently the Superintendent for Westchester Public Schools. He received his bachelors in early childhood education from Northern Illinois University. Philips class just celebrated their 30th Class Reunion in October at Cottage Hill Station.

ICCP: What was your favorite subject in school?

Philip: English class, I enjoyed the classroom discussions and the stories we were reading at the time.  Mr. Shram was personable and pushed us to really think. He made Canterbury Tales enjoyable to read!   

ICCP: What is your best memory from your time at IC?

Philip: Senior Retreat, I remember all of us going away and participating in team building exercises which brought us closer and provided us with an opportunity to speak with kids we normally didn’t speak with.   

ICCP: What are some highlights from your career?

Philip: I worked in Chicago Public School for 24 years. I was a teacher at Marconi Academy on the West Side of Chicago, a Principal of Shields Elementary with an enrollment 1800 students on the Southwest Side and a Citywide District Administrator overseeing over 500 schools. Currently, I am the Superintendent in Westchester Public Schools District 92.5, where I have been for the last 2 years.        

ICCP: What is one other thing you would like to share with IC alumni?

Philip:When I first went to IC I wouldn’t exactly say I was that happy. There were very few of us from Melrose Park and I attended a public elementary school. I definitely felt out of place. It took a little while for me to put aside my anger with my mom for sending me to a school where my friends didn’t go.

However, once I talked with teachers like Ms. Levar and Mr. Eufrasio I saw that this place wasn’t that bad. I am forever grateful for attending IC. Unfortunately, most of my friends that I wanted to go to school with ended up dropping out or finishing much later than they were supposed to.

Now, 30 years later I have the opportunity to share my appreciation for the education I received at IC with our students and families of Westchester. While there are many choices for our families I will always show a bias for IC.