September 1, 2020
Faculty Spotlight: Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith returned to Wheaton Academy this year after spending a year in New Orleans, where his wife completed her doctoral internship and Daniel served as the Center Director of a Mathnasium franchise. We are excited to welcome Daniel back to campus!
What motivated you to become a teacher?
I have always felt called to invest in the lives and hearts of young people as well as combat the injustices in our world, and the education system is a place where both can be lived out on a daily basis.
What are your favorite moments with students?
I love laughing with students in the classroom when someone says or does something silly. I love traveling overseas with students and seeing their worldviews change. I love seeing students beam when they get a problem correct or have that elusive “aha” moment. I love helping students wrestle with some of life’s deep questions and watching them grow in wisdom.
What is the most important life lesson you want your students to learn in your class?
God is calling us to trade in our small stories to be a part of His greater story of reconciling the world. He blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others (Genesis 12), and longs for us to join Jesus in ushering in the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6).
Why are you passionate about the subject(s) that you teach?
I want to help students realize the power of curiosity, grit, and collaboration while they use higher level mathematics to make meaning of the world around them. I work hard to destigmatize the negativity and anxiety that students often bring with them into a math classroom, and my hope is to build an army of young problem solvers who head out into the world and make a difference.
What advice do you have for parents considering Christian education?
As a product of public school, I often ask myself how my life trajectory and character would have been different had I been a student at a Christian high school. After being a part of Wheaton Academy for five years, I am convinced that the holistic approach to learning, growth, and character development is impossible to quantify and is invaluable to all who walk these halls.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Favorite book as an adult?
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
At Wheaton Academy, we believe that students grow to become like their teachers (Luke 6:40)—that’s why it’s so important that 100% of our faculty, coaches, and staff are empowered to speak Biblical truth to our students.