One Middle Village high school teacher is using his passion for running marathons to support education and teach by example.
Christ the King High School teacher Paul Salerni has run 44 marathons in his life. This year, he plans on running to help raise awareness for the Hale Reservation, an organization that educates schoolchildren about nature and the environment.
Salerni has been an avid runner for over 40 years, but this year’s Boston Marathon — which takes place on Apr. 20 — will mark the first time that he will be running to raise money for an organization. Salerni and his team of 17 runners aim to raise $75,000 for the Hale Reservation.
“After reading many environmental headlines lately, I have learned that half of the world’s wildlife has been lost over the last 40 years and that the oceans now contain over 5 trillion pieces of plastic,” Salerni said. “As educators, we know how important it is to raise awareness through education; Hale Reservation does this.”
“To raise awareness is one thing, to act on it is another,” he added.
Salerni has always loved running. He was a runner in junior high school, high school and college. “Running is a great way to manage stress,” he said.
In order to perform at the level necessary for the Boston Marathon, Salerni runs four to five days a week and cross trains on the other days. He usually rides his bike to keep up his endurance and cross country skis when there is some snow on the ground.
“I average 35 miles a week running,” he said. “I’m aiming for three hours and 30 minutes at the marathon. My best is three hours, eight minutes, I think I’m capable of it.”
Salerni has been a faculty member at Christ the King High School for over 27 years, and he teaches social studies and English. He is also an adjunct English professor for Queensborough Community College.
“We at Christ the King are proud of our faculty members who teach through example in shaping the leaders of tomorrow,” Christ the King Chairman Serphin R. Maltese said.
Principal Peter Mannarino added, “Mr. Salerni is an inspiration to all of us who care about our environment, as well as our own personal physical fitness.”
To help support the Hale Reservation, visit www.razoo.com/story/Paul-Salerni.