After 25 years at Mt. Carmel, 8 years at Poway High, and a summer at youth basketball camp, Chris Vitous, esteemed History teacher at MC, is ready to trade in his teaching hat for a couple new ones during retirement.
“I plan on reinventing my fishing and golfing skills, attend more of my daughter’s athletic events, and take a more active role in my church. I also plan on substitute teaching for a few years,” Vitous said when asked what he plans to do with his newfound free time.
Vitous has been a History teacher at MC for the last 22 years. An active member of the school community, Vitous was frequently seen shooting hoops after school or conversing with students and staff. Forming relationships outside the classroom was one of his fondest memories as a teacher and Head Coach for the Boy’s Basketball Team.
“ [My] favorite [part about being a teacher] would be the friendships and relationships you establish with other faculty, staff, and students. Many former students and players of mine have come back as my student teachers and several members of my basketball staff are former players of mine as well,” Vitous said.
Kindness and compassion rarely go unnoticed and in Vitous’ case, the benevolent attitude he radiates with each step is mirrored by the Sundevil family.
“There are so many [memories], but I really remembered the kindness and compassion and empathy shown to me by students when my mother passed away in 2015 and when my father passed in 2005. The Sundevil family is real. I love my students,” Vitous said.
Vitous eventually found his niche as a History teacher and basketball coach at MC, but this was not the career path he originally had in mind.
“I actually started out planning on Law School, as history is a great pre-law major. But I fell in love working with kids after doing some summer camps with my church and also working some summer youth basketball camps. Being a teacher and a coach was a natural fit and I love history. I like to share that passion” Vitous said.
Fast forward 33 years from 1991, when Vitous secured his first job as a teacher at Poway High School, to now, and the once-budding teacher is ready to begin a more family-focused, personal journey. Before he does so, he has some words of wisdom for both future teachers and high school students.
“[For incoming staff] do not forget to take care of yourself physically and emotionally. Always make time for your own family and remember, kids are resilient,” Vitous said. “I urge all MC students to enjoy your high school years. They go by so fast. I look forward to following the future course of Mt. Carmel High School and implore all students to find a niche, whether it’s through a sport, a club, an elective, or community service. MC has so much to offer.”
Vitous hopes to leave behind a legacy of both “character and integrity” within the MC community. Not only was he a respected teacher, but a community leader who has brought WW2 veterans to campus for the last 22 years without pause in an effort to show his students what true honor and courage looks like.
“Exposing students to veterans and other working professionals in the MC community, like a Deputy DA who speaks to my Civics classes, gives students a connection to the real world,” Vitous said.
Teacher, coach, friend, father, and so much more, this history teacher has truly left his mark on MC. After devoting his professional life to helping others understand history concepts, how to shoot a three-pointer, and the true meaning of integrity and character, Vitous will be focusing on himself and his family while in retirement. Though he may no longer be a teacher, his impact on the MC community will be forever present for many generations of students and staff to come.