Saint Ignatius High School

Truly a Wonderful Guy

Guy Savastano is more than a science teacher—he is a scientist. In addition to moderating the school's Green Team and Clean Team, he is leading a group of students in partnership with NASA. Learn all about "Mr. S" in our latest Front of the Class profile from Saint Ignatius Magazine.

by Lisa Metro

Guy Savastano is more than a science teacher- he is a scientist. As an expert in his field, he easily shares his love – and knowledge – of chemistry with Saint Ignatius High School students. He keeps things interesting in the classroom with “hands on” work.
“Students like making things, so they love mixing chemicals,” he says. “I teach a concept and take it to the lab, so it’s not simply on paper.”
Although a natural teacher, creating chemistry labs was not his first career choice, but rather a natural evolution. After earning a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University, he spent a year there in graduate school studying systems engineering. The funding for his research came to a halt (along with the program), forcing him to look for a full-time job. He found work in the lab at the now-closed Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland and learned hematology and immunology, setting him up for his next role in the transplant center at the Cleveland Clinic. That job introduced him to his love of teaching.
“I was working in the labs and loving the work,” he says. “I began training the new people and found out I loved training and teaching. That was my niche. Most of the people I trained were just out of college.”
He got his teaching license and launched his teaching career when he was in his 40s. Savastano joined Saint Ignatius in 2014.
Recently, he is leading a group of students in partnership with NASA. This is an engineering capstone project where students learn on their own under Savastano’s guidance. The projects are created by NASA and represent real world issues. The current group of five students is learning how to design power management circuits similar to those used on the International Space Station.
Outside of the classroom, Savastano is an outdoorsman and shares that passion with students through hiking and Wilderness retreats, the Green Team, and the Clean Team, and jumping in to help with Spring Into Action. If that weren’t quite enough, he also took up the mantle of moderating the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Society of Prayer, a simple but important C.A.T. ministry that prays for the sick in our community.
“Guy is always willing to go the extra mile for the students, whether it’s lunch time learning sessions, Science Olympiad, social justice marches, or the NASA Glenn research project,” says Science Department Chair Jerry DeCarlo. “He does the same for his colleagues, sharing creative labs and lesson plans with other chemistry teachers.”
Social justice work is woven into the fabric of Savastano’s life. He is a product of 12 years of Catholic education, so he understands Catholic social teaching very well.
“I don’t always think about the theology of it, but I know it is present,” he says. “It’s the work of the Holy Spirit. I feel the spirit coursing through me, spurring me to action.”
Teaching at a Jesuit school has only increased his desire for this work and his ability to reach more students, given the mission of the school and the nature of the formation at the very heart of an Ignatius education.
“So much happens here,” says Savastano. “Service and justice go hand-in-hand. Service meets the immediate need of ‘This man is hungry and cold.’ Justice addresses the long-term issues of ‘What were the causes of his homelessness?’” 

Getting to know Guy Savastano:

  • He is a voracious reader with a preference for the classics and science fiction.
  • Savastano is a hiker, often seen on the trails with his walking companion –golden retriever, Sherman.
  • To unwind, he plays acoustic guitar, mostly folk tunes.
  • An Ohio City resident, he is married to Kelly, a software designer.
  • He has two daughters, Elena and Nina.