Meet Jon Vanegas!

Danny Stock

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

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

  • Primary Roles: Middle School Science Department Chair, science teacher, and advisor.
  • Pronouns: He/Him/They
  • Years at GDS: One year down and halfway into year two!


What do you love about GDS?
I love the strong sense of community. Everyone is celebrated and respected for being themselves. There is so much joy and laughter within our halls.

We've got a bone to pick with Jon and his humerus "teaching partner."

Why do you teach/do your job?
I think there is a lot of power and responsibility that comes from teaching. Not only are we teaching content, but we are also modeling activism and social justice. There is no better way of making an impact on our future than through the power of education!

A favorite lesson to teach or favorite part of your job?
Favorite part: the thank you's I get at the end of every class!

Your teaching or work style in three words?
Eccentric. Loud. Understanding.

A top hope/wish for your students and/or colleagues?
I don't think about whether they like science or not; I just want them to feel safe in my classroom.

Personal passions/hobbies/pastimes?
I love reading (mainly) non-fiction, antiracist books, watching films, or binging random TED-Ed (or other informative) videos.

Jon enjoying his Halloween (faux) furry fall fashion.

Various favorites...
My favorite season is fall because my favorite fashion is fall fashion!

One thing about yourself your students/colleagues/others probably don't know?
I don't know how to ride a bike, and I honestly am fine never learning how to.

One thing on your life “bucket list” you have yet to accomplish?
Skydiving.

With a tip from Jon, we reached out to hear what a colleague had to say...
Middle School science teacher Stephen Harris said: “Jon is the ultimate student-focused teacher. He provides a great mix of listening, speaking, and practical learning activities in a very safe, supportive learning environment. His lessons are designed to help a student reach their potential. He is great at building students' confidence, keeping lessons fun and engaging through a variety of activities that improve conversation, writing, and scientific literacy. Jon is also a fantastic collaborative coworker. He will make suggestions that improve on lessons [I'm teaching] to make them more interesting and relevant to our students. Jon's passion and drive to teach are beyond words—and his sense of style can't be beaten!”

GDS Spirit Day Jon

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