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Teacher Interview: Dr. Dave Steakley

May 3, 2017

 

Dr. Dave Steakley is a new chemistry and biology teacher here at North Tahoe. Always well dressed in a neat suit, Dr. Steakley’s academic background and passion for science is very impressive.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Dr. Steakley continued onto college in Vermont and eventually spent ten years living and studying in the Bay Area. Dr. Steakley is excited to be a part of the Lake Tahoe community and loves his first year at North Tahoe so far. Here is a little bit more about him!

 

Q: Why did you choose North Tahoe?:

A: I chose to come to North Tahoe High School because I really liked the staff and students I met when I visited. I think there is a really unique group of young people and adults working to improve themselves and get smarter here. One of my favorite quotes about the purpose of education is, “You want the inside of your head to be an interesting place to spend the rest of your life.” I think that the students here are pretty motivated to make the inside of their heads a fun place to be. The mountains didn't hurt my decision either.

 

Q: Where did you go to college and what did you study?

A: I went to undergraduate at the University of Vermont in Burlington Vermont, to study botany.  I got my Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology

 

Q: What made you want to be a science teacher?

A: (From my NTHS website profile) My favorite role as a scientist is teaching others how to use science as a way to explain the beauty of the natural world and to answer questions that are interesting to them. I love it when students can use science to explain a puzzling phenomena, or to figure out how something works that isn't initially obvious.

 

Q: What is something unique about you?

A: My academic/scientific great grandfathers (tracing the set of scientists you trained under backwards like a family tree) include both Jacques Monod, who won a Nobel Prize for describing how genes are regulated in bacteria, and Neils Bohr, who won a Nobel Prize for work that established how we think about the current model of the atom.  

 

Q: What sport(s) did you play in High School?

A: In high school I was a swimmer and I played lacrosse.  I also spent a lot of time hiking, rock climbing, and skiing.

 

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Tahoe?

A: I love to get outside, and depending on the time of year that can be biking, hiking, rock climbing, or skiing.

 

Q: What is one of the top items on your bucket list?

A: I am really looking forward to seeing my students come back and share their successes with me once they get out into the "real world".  I think you have to judge a teacher by the eventual success of their students, so I am excited to see all of the great things they will go on to do.

 

Q: What is your favorite book or movie?

A: Right now my favorite book is "The Expanse" by James S. A. Corey. It is a great science fiction story set in the near future when humans have colonized the solar system. But, the author went to great lengths to make sure the science was pretty accurate, and that really improves the story for me. My favorite movie of all time is Inception.

 

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