One Experienced Mentor
Andrew grew up in San Diego before venturing off to the University of Notre Dame to study Philosophy, Theology, and Literature in a Great Books Program. Upon graduation, he taught high school as a Mercy Corps volunteer on the Navajo Reservation, and then returned to school to get a PhD in Philosophy of Religion from Syracuse University. He worked as a Lecturer at Clemson University and an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lees-McRae College in beautiful Boone, NC. While in Boone, he created the most ecologically progressive subdivision in the region and then went on to pursue an AMI Montessori Adolescent training. Andrew’s uses academics as a vehicle for personal growth by the students: “I am a life coach for adolescents, and school is the container for the project of developing human beings towards their potential. Setting high academic standards comes easily because achievement in academia is ingrained in my bones. Beyond that objective, however, lies the realm of what really matters–life’s higher aims. My deeper purpose as a teacher will always be to awaken this pursuit of a beautiful life in my students. My best moments as a teacher involve helping students work through the issues that hold the keys to their development as stable, balanced, and fulfilled human beings.”
If you want to understand how Andrew thinks about hot button topics like race, gender, and religion, then read the articles on his website. If you don’t want your child to be exposed to this kind of thinking, then Aspire High will not be a good fit. Our Community Circles will be safe spaces for students to express their real thoughts on current events.
Dr. Andrew Saldino runs Aspire High, leads Daily Circles, and provides personalized mentoring and study support.
"When the child was very small it was enough to call him by name for him
to turn around. Now we must appeal to his soul. To speak to him is not
enough for this; it is necessary to interest him. What he learns must be
interesting, must be fascinating. We must give him grandeur. To begin
with, let us present him with the world."
"The chief symptom of adolescence is a state of expectation, a tendency towards creative work and a need for the strengthening of self-confidence."
"Education should therefore include the two forms of work, manual and intellectual, for the same person, and thus make it understood by practical experience that these two kinds complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence."
Maria Montessori, From Childhood to Adolescence
Inspiring Words from the extraordinary educational mind of Maria Montessori, who is a deep source of inspiration for Aspire High:
Thoughts on educating teenagers, from the powerful mind of Rudolf Steiner:
"Andrew, You personally have given me such an incredible head start in the world. You’ve taught me how to look at the world in new ways and question what I’m seeing, how to be empathetic and concerned, and how to truly understand the things I believe in and fight for beyond just a blind conformity. The things you’ve taught me have made me into a better person academically, socially, and spiritually."
-Jonah, student from 2015-2017
"Excitement and passion are two of the most important things that capture an audience -- and Andrew Saldino has no problem with captivation. He is not only excited and passionate about his subject, but thoughtful, intuitive, and genuine. As a teacher Andrew is exceptional -- he pushes students academically, encourages free-thought and critical-thinking, and understands the balance between the academic self and the emotional self. He knows which role to take on in relation to the student he is working with, whether it be the firm and fair teacher, or the understanding mentor, or, most likely, both."
-Julia, student from 2015-17
"Our daughter feels a part of a school community that respects her voice, inspires her creativity, and challenges her. Aspire High has given her the opportunity to explore her passions while meeting her educational needs at the same time."
-Maria Muscarella, parent from 2018-20
"Andrew is the hardest working and most passionate teacher I have ever known. He worked incessantly building, designing, teaching, working with parents and community, and generally did everything that was necessary to make the nascent program a success. He commuted every weekend to Ashville and back to Roswell for Monday. He never missed a Monday.
All stakeholders liked and respected Andrew. The adolescents often confided in him and parents
asked for advice. Our teachers enjoyed working with Andrew. He is a visionary with the ability to
bring a vision to life through his hard work, in logical and forward-thinking way.
-Patricia Craft-Heuer, Director or VIllage Montessori School in Roswell, GA