Science teacher gravitates to potential

Physics teacher Daniel Garcia positively impacts students.


Z. Emerson

On top of teaching Conceptual Physics classes, Garcia also teaches the year-long Electronics course.

By Zoe Emerson

The first day of school is full of excitement for students and faculty alike. The new school year is a Renaissance, as it is a time of great change. When walking through the building, one can see many new faces among the Huntley High School population. 

One of the newest faces on the Harmony Road campus’s largest school is Daniel Garcia, a science teacher. The 2022-23 school year marks Garcia’s first year teaching at HHS, as well as his fourth year teaching overall. 

Garcia’s arrival at HHS is a homecoming of sorts, having graduated from Crystal Lake Central High School. Garcia studied engineering at the University of Iowa and was a student teacher in Iowa for three years before opting to return home.

“My main goal was to try and find somewhere closer to home,” Garcia said. “I wanted to be either in Crystal Lake teaching there or somewhere close. I just liked the idea that all this stuff is familiar.”

Garcia originally went to college to become an engineer but realized he wanted to become a teacher when taking college physics courses. Garcia’s main objective as a teacher is to help more students obtain careers in the STEM field. 

“I hopefully want to be somebody who makes physics exciting,” Garcia said. “Hopefully, I’m starting to get some kids inspired to do more stuff with [science].” 

Garcia explains that his favorite thing about teaching HHS’s Conceptual Physics course is that it is not necessarily math-centered, but rather a course where students can explore the reasons behind the world around them. 

“Once you get to college, it’s almost like they don’t actually tell you what stuff is. I feel like we actually care about what stuff is,” Garcia said. “Why do we have gravity? Why do things repel or attract each other? I do really enjoy that aspect that we get to talk more about why things happen.”

Freshman Christian Gluszek states that Garcia is one of his favorite teachers. 

“He’s really funny, really chill, and really laid back. He’s pretty much everything you want in a good teacher,” Gluszek said. “He’s awesome, he’s great, and he goes out of his way to make sure that all of his students are prepared and do well.” 

While Conceptual Physics takes up most of Garcia’s day, he also teaches a science elective called Electronics. Garcia emphasizes that the course differs from the Project Lead the Way Digital Electronics class.

The Electronics course mainly focuses on how different electronics, such as circuits, computers, and video gaming systems, work. The first semester of the year-long course focuses on the basics, but for the second semester, students get to explore their own interests in regard to electronics. 

“For this semester, we did a poll and the students picked what they wanted to do for [the] second semester. We wouldn’t have gotten into Wi-Fi, but [the students] wanted Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,” Garcia said. “Once we know the basics, I open it up to what they want to learn, anything computer and electronics-wise.” 

Garcia recommends the Electronics course for anyone interested in going into STEM, and he notes that many of his students have taken engineering classes, including Digital Electronics. 

Fellow science teacher Daniel Kush notes that Garcia genuinely wants to help his students succeed and that his positive personality shines through even on the most difficult days. 

“[Garcia] never lets negative events or attitudes take his focus away from helping his students,” Kush said. “He is so easily able to forget about distractions and negative influences so that it doesn’t have an impact on his ability to teach his classes.”

When Garcia is not teaching, he can be found playing video games. Garcia lists Fortnite and Apex Legends as the games he plays the most, and he states that he recently purchased Elden Ring. Garcia mainly uses an Xbox to play his favorite games. 

Garcia explains that when he has stressful days, he can always count on his students to lift his mood. Garcia’s favorite aspect of teaching is, evidently, his students. 

“That’s always what it’s going to be,” Garcia said. “It feels like a real connection is getting made, so it makes it worth it.”

While only in his first year teaching at HHS, Garcia is only getting started. It is clear to students and teachers alike that Garcia’s best teaching days are ahead of him. Garcia’s passion for science and devotion to his students drives him in his career, and his positive attitude will shine through the hallways of HHS for years to come.