A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Dan Nichols

A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Dan Nichols

Dan Nichols is the biology teacher at Whiting High School teaching regular, honors, and AP courses for the last 26 years. Some of the school sports and clubs that Nichols has been involved in are cross country, volleyball, Academic Team, and the school’s very own Science Olympiad.

Nichols considers himself someone who wants to help others and believes that being an instructor makes the most out of his mindset, personality, and talents.

“I’ve always been interested in working in groups, so being a teacher fit naturally with me,” Nichols said. “As an instructor, I challenge my students but I am fair. I present them with plenty of opportunities to master the material of their courses.”

Nichols attributes his love for biology and science in general to his childhood. Growing up in Boone Grove, he spent a lot of time around his family’s hobby farm and was always exposed to animals and nature. He was active in his high school’s science club and even had an opportunity to see Halley’s Comet. In addition, Nichols had aspirations to be a veterinarian and took part in the Boy Scouts Explorers program’s veterinarian experience.

In addition, Nichols is also the State Director for Indiana Science Olympiad and is one of the six National Rules Committee Chairs for the National Science Olympiad. His passion for Science Olympiad goes as far back as his high school years, where he participated in various competitions.

“What I enjoy most about Science Olympiad is that it takes students’ science curriculum and expands it with hands-on application and teamwork,” Nichols said. “It gives students opportunities to learn skills like communication and organization that will be valuable for life after high school.”

Nichols noted that it is an absolute pleasure working at Whiting High School. The faculty, staff, and students are all a joy to be around. Nichols describes them as overachievers.

“There’s a strong sense of community and closeness that the people of Whiting have that’s a good fit for me,” Nichols said. “There’s a real strong human element both at the school and in the community as a whole.”

“Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me that in times of need, we have to pick each other up to move forward,” Nichols said. “I always do my best to encourage my students and they need it now more than ever. Being an instructor is a challenging experience, but rewarding nonetheless.”