The Journey to Becoming a Sequoit

Some chances are once in a lifetime.

New beginnings occur many times in life. They are fresh starts with new opportunities waiting to be approached. Some opportunities are once in a lifetime, such as becoming a Sequoit. Nine years ago, math teacher Arnold Glapajone was lucky enough to have that chance become a reality.                                                                                        

At the start of a new road, the authority figures that have been with the student body since the beginning, such as a loved one, are the one’s who set the example. Glapajone’s parents’ were born in Thailand and moved to America in their 30s.

“My parents took really good care of me,” Glapajone said. “They gave me the opportunity to basically live my dreams and do what I wanted.”

In high school, just like any other student, he struggled finding a balance between sports, academics and his social life. He attended Niles North High School and his four years were dominated by soccer, basketball and volleyball. A reason why he enjoyed those years was because of the different groups of people represented.

“It was a very diverse school,” Glapajone said. “Every nation you could think of was represented there.”

In order to achieve a goal, an authority figure or role model is encouraged to be present. Glapajone bonded with coaches and that  inspired him to shoot for the stars.

“I had two coaches that were influential,” Glapajone said. “They taught me how to be competitive and to go for what I wanted.”

Along Glapajone’s journey came a turning point, once he decided to change his dream.

Switching from engineering to education abruptly while choosing a career, Glapajone realized that not every decision is set in stone.

“I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do,” Glapajone said. “I excelled at math and science, so I decided to be an engineer in high school. I thought I would major in engineering to start college, but then I made the switch to education.”

In an article by The Balance, it states, “Today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career.”

It is possible to fall in love with a different career within the blink of an eye, so it’s important to pay attention to any important surroundings.

“In college I was obsessed with basketball, so I volunteered as a basketball coach for the junior high,” Glapajone said. “I fell in love with the coaching aspect of it; it kind of inspired me to become a teacher so I could become a basketball coach as well.”

As committed as he is, Glapajone drives all the way up from Chicago every day to teach his students.

“Living in Chicago, there is a lot to do,” Glapajone said. “I am a food fanatic and living in Chicago, I can find a lot of good restaurants and explore different cuisines.”

According to Google Maps, the drive is one hour and six minutes away, driving approximately 57.1 miles.

The fact that Glapajone can live in Chicago and do his favorite things while also being able to come up and do the job he loves shows the dedication he brings to the table.

“I really like the people I work with here, the math teachers and the other coaches on the coaching staff, and I like the demographic here,” Glapajone said. “It’s different from where I grew up and it’s kinda cool seeing how people live in our community versus where I grew up.”