Fr. Arnold Perham celebrated a rare milestone in February: his 60th jubilee as a priest—and all but five of those years have been spent teaching mathematics at Saint Viator High School.
But don’t expect him to spend much time celebrating. He’s too busy. Although he retired from full time teaching in 2010, he continues to spend every morning at the high school, tutoring students in the math lab, preparing challenging projects for the Querbes Scholars and working individually with math team members.
Two of those math team competitors, juniors Patrick Harris and Orest Byskosh—the son of a former student of Fr. Perham’s—recently placed third in the state in their oral competition after working with Fr. Perham.
Fr. Perham was always an innovator in the classroom. He was an early proponent of computer technology and more recently, he has turned to mobile apps to advance students’ work.
“I love it,” Fr. Perham says. “It gives me a reason to get up in the morning. Any time you can work with young people, it’s a good thing.”
Fr. Perham’s work continues to resonate with graduates. Take Jim Fruchterman ’76, a former rocket scientist who started his own nonprofit company in Silicon Valley, to empower persons with disabilities through technology.
“At Saint Viator, I met priests who combined a love of math and science, with a life of service,” Fruchterman said. “Especially Fr. (Arnold) Perham and Fr. (John) Milton, they were the ones who got me going and set me on this path.”