A man with many hats

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A man with many hats

Josh Shepherd, Staff Reporter

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For one reason or another, this year saw an influx in staff, among them – Dane Gottsch, a science teacher. Mr. Gottsch was incredibly excited to teach biology this year, and about a month and a half ago, he took over AP Biology.

Mr. Gottsch is a Floridian, but he has not spent his entire life in the Tampa Bay area. He was born in Tallahassee and raised on Florida’s west coast. As a teenager, his family moved away to New Jersey, where he attended Christian Brothers Academy, a Jesuit high school in Middletown. It is this school that Mr. Gottsch credits for helping him hone his studying habits and discovering his inner scholar.

Four years later, Mr. Gottsch moved for a second time, this time to Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended Johns Hopkins University. Though he began as an English major, Mr. Gottsch shifted his focus to science and would graduate as a biology major. Before leaving college, however, he conducted a study on the effects of loud noises on the vocalizations of marmoset monkeys.

After college, Mr. Gottsch would relocate again, this time back to Florida. Living in the Bradenton area, he spent time working as a zookeeper at Sarasota Jungle Gardens before making the change to teaching. He found that his new job not only offered a more normalized schedule but also provided an outlet to foster his knowledge of science. His teaching career began at Nolan Middle School, but downsizing in the student population forced him to transfer to another school.

“They always say teachers go where the students go,” commented Mr. Gottsch.

Mr. Gottsch is the current AP Biology teacher. This is a class he had hoped to teach for a long time. “I held my breath, and made a wish – and lo and behold, I got my wish,” he remarks.

He finds that one of the most effective ways to teach a student is making the topic personal and finding a way to make what is being taught relate to them. He also enjoys “unstructured class time” where students can work mostly on their own, with the idea that the topic at hand will guide how students work while Mr. Gottsch provides advice and input. He works day in and day out to ensure the success of his students.

“There is definitely some immaturity dripping down the halls,” stated Mr. Gottsch. “But in class, I’m astonished by the level of maturity many of these students have in class.”

Over the years, Mr. Gottsch has developed an interest in music. Outside of school, he can be found playing his guitar or violin or spending time with his family. He also owns a large property out east, which he refers to as his “ranch.” Mr. Gottsch loves spending time and bonding with his horses. It seems that behind this great science teacher is an even greater man.