New biology teacher starts at RAHS

New biology teacher Nathan Gwinn engages and connects with his 5th period class while having student-led presentations.

In Aug. of 2017, Nathan Gwinn moved to Washington and began teaching biology at RAHS. He came from Texas, and so far, does not have many regrets on his decision.

He decided to change schools because he believed Washington is truly where he belonged.

“This is where we should move, and this is where I want to raise our kids,” said Gwinn, “and when we went back to Texas, we hated it even more.”

Gwinn is currently very impressed with RAHS compared to the previous schools at which he taught. Gwinn feels that students at RAHS are completely different than other students he has taught.

“I feel that the vast majority of the kids care about what they do and what they produce,” said Gwinn. “[Previous students were] smart, but they didn’t put forth the effort.”

In fact, Gwinn is so impressed, he doesn’t even know how to improve the school.

“I legitimately have no idea,” said Gwinn, “I cannot think of anything.”

To Gwinn, the complex, ever-changing nature of biology is what really makes it stand out among sciences.

“It’s more of a conceptual science, it’s not always black or white,” said Gwinn. “It’s about large concepts, it’s a little bit more artful.

However, Gwinn is excited about teaching a subject that is new for him, Speech and Debate. Although he has never taught this subject, RAHS students will hopefully make it enjoyable. Gwinn has a few goals for the upcoming year.

“My goals for the year are for my students to be prepared for the college environment,” said Gwinn. “Not a lot of hand holding, but for the bar to still be set high.”

Gwinn also wants students to be critical thinkers.

“Another goal would be for my students to think for themselves, not to put themselves inside a box,” said Gwinn, “think about motives of people, think about motives for writing, and to always look for the reason behind things.”

Sophomore Lauren Vitellaro has Gwinn for biology. She enjoys the way he teaches and feels that he challenges the students effectively, and helps them learn and acquire knowledge.

“I think his teaching style really puts a lot of not just pressure on the students, but gives them a lot of responsibility,” said Vitellaro. “Also, making the students be their best and the students that don’t put in the effort can’t do as well as the other students.”

Vitellaro also feels there are some challenges within Gwinn’s class.

“Making sure you’re always paying attention is important,” said Vitellaro, “It’s easy to slip off for a second and you could lose something in your notes.”

Another sophomore, Miles Gendreau, who also has Gwinn, mostly agrees with Lauren’s thoughts on his teaching style.

“He presents the material in a straightforward way,” said Gendreau, “and gives us an assignment based on that.”

Gendreau finds his teaching style comparable, but still different from his previous science teacher, Scott McComb.

“Mr. McComb did a lot more teaching up front,” said Gendreau, “whereas Gwinn makes us do a lot more out of class research.”

He enjoys this way of teaching, and learns quite a bit from it.

“I like this teaching style,” said Gendreau, “It makes you absorb the information a lot easier.”

However, Gendreau feels this is also what is challenging about his class.

“Whats is challenging about his class is also this out of class focused research,” said Gendreau, “but overall it helps you learn.”

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