CVHS staff member Nathan McCreary is more than just an AP Environmental Science teacher, he is an advisor of the Smart Environment Club and runs a book club for students during Trojan Time.
In the book club, students read and discuss the book “Feed” by M.T. Anderson. It touches on discussion topics such as technology and data, consumerism, and even some environmental issues, which is perfect for McCreary’s students.
Smart Environment Club members help out with recycling around CVHS, but their main accomplishment is the school garden. It is now in a visible space and the students are able to admire the garden and the hard work the club puts into it. “What I really like about the garden is that it’s a place for students to be physically, but also a place for them to feel involved in what happens on campus,” McCreary said.
McCreary also has a unique connection to the environment from growing up in the Oregon countryside on a 70 acre dairy farm, living in nature. His family was looking for an alternative to the more modern society of unsustainable activities, so he grew up very aware of people’s needs versus their wants, which prepared him for the issues that come up with environmental science. McCreary also thinks it is important to be aware of the environment around you and the impact you make, so he stresses that along with the unit information from the textbook in his class lectures.
“I like that we have lecture days where he explains the concepts that come from the book, so we’re not just reading the text,” said senior Autumn Adeyan.
When McCreary was in high school, he was interested in teaching as a future, but shied away from it because of personal struggles and “a need for a more self-centered way of looking at life.” He wasn’t sure if he wanted to give his energy to other people, but ironically, that’s now his favorite part about being a teacher. The job is always changing and he is inspired by his students. After high school, McCreary was interested by art and creativity, so he got a degree in fine art. Later in life, he started to feel that he wanted to be in an educational environment again.
Before teaching, McCreary spent a lot of time traveling, leaving him with impactful real-world experiences that he can use to relate to what is being taught in the class. His stories can make what you are learning real, and it’s often helpful for students.
“He makes the class entertaining and a fun subject to learn,” says junior Caroline LeVans.
Teaching an AP environmental science class is definitely a challenge, but McCreary is passionate about the subject, and uses that to educate the next generation.