To Be The Reason Why

Math team coach Christopher Stanich brings fun to the math team that is unmistakably authentic.

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To Be The Reason Why

Math teacher Christopher Stanich has always been a person to take opportunities when they are presented. Besides being an Integrated Math 3 and Pre-Calculus teacher, Stanich is most well-known for being part of the popular 30 60 90’s band and being the head coach of the math team.

The Iowa State graduate is entering his ninth year as a coach of the Sindicates, Antioch’s math team. Joining as an assistant coach in 2010, Stanich immediately fell in love with coaching the team and can now notice the difference between a math student and a math team member.

“In math class, you have a lot of kids who don’t want to be there,” Stanich said. “They’re not excited about it and they don’t want to work hard, whereas the kids in math team are really excited about [math]. They want to be able to take on those challenges and go after the hard problems instead of being satisfied with just getting the normal problems in class done and calling it a day.”

His love hasn’t gone unnoticed by the team.

“He understands that the problems we do are very difficult,” senior Sindicate member Nicholas Gagnon said. “I enjoy that he helps us understand each type of problem without hesitation.”

Not only is Stanich very helpful, but he is also authentically himself.

“He’s unapologetically himself,” current assistant coach Andrew Benton said. “He’s never trying to fit in or impress people. He is just 100 percent himself and that is very rare to find.”

Stanich’s passion and no-nonsense approach to the math team has been able to return results. He has helped to send many math team members down to the state tournament during his tenure as coach, most notably in 2015. His favorite memory comes from the regional tournament at Northern Illinois University that year.

“We didn’t really know what to expect that year,” Stanich said. “We ended up winning in the calculator team, the junior-senior eight-person team, and the freshmen-sophomore eight-person team; we got third place overall. It was so much fun cheering on all our kids as they were going up to get awards. Everyone was hooting and hollering.”

To Stanich, math is a subject of simplicity.

“It’s black and white,” Stanich said. “There’s a right answer and a wrong answer, so there’s no subjectivity in grading, but in terms of solving there [are] a lot of different ways to get to that one correct answer. There’s always a way that a student comes up with an answer that I’ve never approached the same way before.”

Few people have the same love and appreciation for math that Stanich does. His approach to the subject is rare to find and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by his students and peers. Whether it’s during class or after school, Stanich will always give the same energy and drive to math and he will do it being unapologetically himself.