Meet Bill Wallace!

Danny Stock

As part of our ongoing series Meet Our GDS Faculty and Staff, we are excited to present: Meet Bill Wallace!

Read the Q&A below to learn more about Bill.

Primary Role: High School science teacher 

Pronouns: he/him

Years at GDS: 24 years

What do you love about GDS?
My colleagues in the Science department and the genuine curiosity of my students.

Why do you teach?
I really enjoy conveying my passion for biology and how biologists think to young minds that are open to new ways of thinking.

A favorite part of your job?
Any of my open-ended lab investigations in which my students analyze their results in terms of their hypotheses, not whether the results are "right."

Your work style in three words?
Innovative. Passionate. Engaging.

Other GDS activities or roles that community members may not know about?
Ran the STEAM Conference for many years, mentored students for independent research investigations

A top hope/wish for your students and/or colleagues?
I hope that all of my students appreciate the need for critical thinking in all of their endeavors.

I'm in the Canadian Rockies during one of my favorite hikes ever, The trail at the Plain of Six Glaciers behind Lake Louise.​​​​

Personal passions/hobbies/pastimes?
My wife's family is in Sweden. I have a son (and his family) living in South Africa, so I have to say traveling is important. I also enjoy bicycling, writing, and hiking in the mountains out West.

A few favorites…?
I read and reread a book called The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski. It presents scientists such as Galileo and Bohr as intellectual heroes. (I know... What a nerd!)

Something you made, created, or accomplished you can proudly share?
I've written textbooks for my Physiology and Neuroscience courses.

 

A tidbit about family?
We have a cabin on an island (called Tantamanni) between Sweden and Finland. It is one of only two on the island and truly off the grid with no electricity or running water. We generally spend a week there during the summer when the sun never sets. It is our family's sanctuary.

One thing about yourself your students/colleagues/others probably don't know?
I am a former research neuroscientist, who trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of a Nobel Laureate.

One thing on your life "bucket list" you've already accomplished?
I've ridden my bicycle around Europe for three months.

One thing on your life “bucket list” you have yet to accomplish?
Establish a nonprofit organization to help families with sickle cell disease.

With a tip from Bill, we reached out to hear what a colleague had to say...
High School environmental science teacher (and former High School principal) C.A. Pilling wrote, “Bill's impact on the science department has been monumental. His decades-long research background at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) brought us a unique perspective and helped to propel us into a more open-ended inquiry-based approach within our classes. His continual refrain of how we should be teaching students how to “think like a scientist" rather than just content, has left its mark on not just what we teach, but how we teach it. His focus on research opportunities for students—both in and out of the classroom—has left an indelible mark on countless current and former students. Bill's ability to put a student's development as a scientific thinker first and foremost is a hallmark we all aspire to. And to do it all with such good humor and care for each child, makes his approach even more inspiring.”

Bill Wallace and “Bill Wallace,” AKA Bobby Asher at Halloween. Bobby playfully harasses Bill as he teaches about cellular growth factors and signal transduction. Bobby’s antics with Bill’s likeness have, in the past, gotten him hauled into the principal’s office. At least it’s all in good fun these days!

Director of Student Life and Wellness (and High School neuroscience teacher) Bobby Asher added, “Teaching Neuroscience with Bill over the last four years has been one of the absolute highlights of my three decades at GDS. His extraordinary intelligence, his love for teaching, and his genuine humility make him a singularly valued colleague, mentor, and friend. As he has for so many of his students over the years, Bill has taught me to think like a scientist—that it’s not about the answers, it’s about asking the right questions.”





 

 

 

 

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