Heroes Of Atlantic: Michelle Saluk

From substitute teaching to Special Events Coordinator, Michelle Saluk does it all.


Genevieve McCalla

Michelle Saluk loves to substitute teach at Atlantic High School.

Genevieve McCalla, Editor

Michelle Saluk has been a beacon of positivity at AHS for 13 years. Always willing to say “hi” or share a joke, the substitute teacher has had two kids in the school system and says her “kids” and “family” are a big part of her life. “When I went back to work, I made sure to have a schedule so I’d be home when they’re home.” She said, “Now one’s going [to] graduate and I’m going [to] have to do something.” 

Every morning, “I get up early and have coffee on my deck.” Saluk has two jobs, one working as a Special Events Coordinator at KSOM, of which she said “It’s a fancy word for telemarketing,” and of course, substituting throughout Atlantic Community School District. 

“The summer before my senior year, I found out that my dad and stepmom stole money from my college bank account,” Saluk said, which changed her life. “It wasn’t a lot, maybe a couple grand, but I had worked for two summers.” She said, “They denied it, and I never spoke to them again.” This caused Saluk to fall back on her mom for most of her life.

I like to be that bright light. It’s better to be looked at than looked over.

— Michelle Saluk

Then, when her mom died in 2015, Saluk struggled. “Not talking to her every day,” was the worst part, she said. “It was important to me to have the same traditions she did.” As the oldest sibling, she made it her job to get the rest of the family together “at least once a year” for Christmas or family dinners. 

The Saluk’s like travel in new places.  “My favorite place I’ve ever been [to] was Greece six years ago.” She said, “I’m very fortunate that we get to travel.”

Overall, Saluk’s ultimate goal at AHS is to “be a positive impact. I just like to be happy; high school is hard enough.” She said, “I like to be that bright light.” Saluk also said that “it’s better to be looked at than looked over,” paraphrasing a quote from Mae West. Saluk enjoys her work and plans to stay at the high school for the foreseeable future.