Q&A with Daniel Gill

Math+teacher+Daniel+Gill+sits+in+his+assigned+work+space%2C+which+is+next+to+Math+teacher+Maria+Tolentino%27s+desk.

Math teacher Daniel Gill sits in his assigned work space, which is next to Math teacher Maria Tolentino’s desk.

Daniel Gill

Question: What was your college major?
“I changed my major a lot and then I settled on math at the University of Houston. I had a whole lot of math credits, and I had kind of like a rough semester when I first got to UH as a lot of people do when they transfer. And so, I took like a year off, and when I went back, I looked at the credits I had, and I realized I was closest to a math major. I knew I could probably do really well in that. So at UH, you’re not required to, but if you’re a math or science major, there’s a program called TeachHouston that gets you certified to teach. It’s not like an education major; it’s more like a minor. And so, the first class is only one credit hour, and they used to reimbursed you for it, so it’s free essentially. I tried it out and I really like the program, and everybody there was cool, and they motivated me to stay with math. So I kind of fell into that.”

Q: Before working here, where did you previously work?
“So, right before I started working here, I worked at the University of Houston. I was an academic advisor for the college of Natural Science and Math, so I basically help council biology, biochemistry, and math students on which classes to take and what they might want to do in the future.”

Q: How long did you work there?
“I worked there since June, so nine, ten months and before that I was a teacher in HISD for 3 years.”

Q: What are some things you miss about your old job?
“Oh, gosh. I got to sleep in a little bit more because I live really close to UH, and the work day started a little bit later. I wake up a little bit earlier. That’s been the major adjustment for me. Also, since I’ve worked there for a while, I was really close with my coworkers; I miss joking around with them. But everybody here has been really nice as well.”

Q: How do you think your previous job experience will help you here?
“I taught high school before I worked at UH. I taught in HISD at Sam Houston High School and also a high school for law enforcement, so I have three years of teaching experience. So, obviously, it’s relatable to here. I think working at UH, I know the inside view of how colleges work and I can help students with applications, choosing a major, and figuring out what classes to take now so they’ll be better prepared when they get to college.”

Q: Why did you start this job so late in the year?
“I heard about the opening here and know that openings don’t come up very often here because it’s such a prestigious school. I knew I had to get the opportunity while I had it. And so I did the whole interview process and didn’t really think I would get it but then at the end, they offered me the job. They said I could start in March and I said, ‘yeah, cool!’”

Q: What field of math do you teach?
“I teach all maths. As far as this year, it looks like I’ll be doing Algebra and Algebra III. I really like Geometry and Calculus.”

Q: How did you find out about Kerr or this job?
“I have a couple of friends who went here as students and they told me that it was an awesome high school. I know Coach [Moon] Kim, so he told me that there was an opening here.”

Q: What did you know about Kerr before coming here?
“I just knew that it was an awesome school, a magnet school with great students. There are high standards. It’s a different system than most schools have.”

Q: The math center has had an all-female staff for a long time. How do you feel working with all women?
“I’m used to that. Where I worked at before, at UH, it’s mostly females about 75 percent, and then there are like 3 males total, so we stepped together. Teaching before is the same thing, so I’m used to that. I mean the math teachers are really cool here, so I’m going to get along with them very well.”

Q: How old are you?
“There’s four of us [in my family]: there’s me, mom, my dad, and my brother. I’m the older brother. But I look younger. I’m 29. My brother’s like four years younger than me, but a lot of times, people are like oh, is this your little brother? And I’m like, ‘Sure.”

Q: What are some of your hobbies? Your interests?
“I used to play music a lot. I don’t really do it that much any more , but I played drums and guitar. I still pick up a guitar every now and then. I can’t play drums in my apartment because they’ll probably evict me. It’s too loud. And then I like exercising, staying active. I like doing martial arts as well. That’s pretty much it. And I’m trying to learn how to cook, but that’s basically just Youtube and google. Sometimes it comes out awesome, and sometimes it comes out terrible.”

Q: Did you ever consider becoming a musician full-time?
“Oh yeah, when I was younger. I started playing guitar when I was nine or ten and I thought I was destined for greatness. I mean even up until college, I was always writing music and playing in bands and there were a couple of times when I was in bands. We were pretty good, not like famous or anything, but to where we would actually be decent enough to make a record and go on tour. Something happened, we fell through, and I got tired of that. You have to find people that you can depend on and sometimes in rock music, it’s hard to find dependable people.”

Q: Favorite TV shows?
“One [of my favorite series] was The Sopranos, which was really good. I watched it after it originally aired. My brother had all the DVDs and he’s like, ‘you gotta watch this, it’s awesome!’ As soon as I watched the first season, I was hooked! I also like a lot of animated comedies, like South Park; Beavis and Butt-Head. The show that I’m watching right now is Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, a spin-off of that.”

Q: Favorite type of music?
“I listen to a lot of everything, but I really like heavy rock, punk rock, and all that stuff like that. ”

Q: Do you see this as a place where you will work for a long time?
“I hope so just because the culture of this school is great. People here want to learn and the teachers here seem like they want to help the students as much as they can. It’s a really good place for a teacher to be in, so I can really see why not a lot of openings are here and I feel really lucky that they chose me.”