The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Science teacher shares passion, relates to students

Nathanial Swindle
Nicholas DiNapoli discusses the earth’s longitude, latitude, poles and equator during one lunch in room 211 on Sept. 21, 2023.

This year, the Dolphins have welcomed many new students and teachers into the POD, including new oceanography and AP Environmental Science teacher, Nicholas DiNapoli.

“I think I chose Ocean Lakes as much as Ocean Lakes chose me. [Ocean Lakes] is a very friendly place. In my brief time at OL, I have gotten to meet some great people and teach some great students,” said DiNapoli.

According to DiNapoli, his passion for the natural world and his desire to share it with others is what drew him into education.

As an undergraduate at Christopher Newport University, DiNapoli and his classmates were given an assignment to become an expert on something and then teach the class about the subject. DiNapoli credits this as his first hint that teaching would become his profession.

“My partner and I taught a lesson about the conspicuousness of poison dart frogs in the South American rainforest. For an hour I presented and answered questions from my classmates, just like a teacher would. It was one of my favorite classes I ever had, and I greatly enjoyed the feeling of standing in front of the room and presenting interesting knowledge to others,” said DiNapoli.

Prior to teaching, DiNapoli had aspirations to become a wildlife researcher or a marine biologist and also worked at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He has always loved science and many of its subjects.

“My favorite oceanography subject is probably towards the end of our class when we start talking about the invertebrates and vertebrates of our oceans. There are lots of subjects of great interest to me in AP Environmental Science, but I probably have to say the most interesting to me is predator/prey dynamics,” said DiNapoli.

Due to DiNapoli’s fairly recent accomplishment of getting his master’s in education at Old Dominion University, many students feel that he has the ability to bring the class together more efficiently as well as connect with students better.

“Mr. DiNapoli is a great teacher because due to him coming out of school more recently, he’s able to have a fresher perspective on teaching and relate to students more,” said junior Sofia Thompson.

Even though the school year has just started, DiNapoli has already left lasting impressions on his students. 

“Mr. DiNapoli’s positive attitude makes going to his class enjoyable. I like [his] flexibility and understanding with his students the most because it shows he cares,” said junior Shawn Madsen.

Besides getting enough sleep, DiNapoli sees it best that no matter the difficulty of the challenge, students should try their hardest in everything they face.

“How you do anything is how you do everything. Take pride in all facets of your life. When you begin to take shortcuts or the easy way out on things that may seem unimportant, that attitude will work its way into everything you do,” said DiNapoli. 

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About the Contributor
Nathanial Swindle
Nathanial Swindle, News Editor
Nathanial Swindle is a junior, second-year journalist and the news editor for The Current. He enjoys helping out his mom at his local VFW post, volunteering and taking care of his two golden retrievers. Nathanial wants to study business at Notre Dame and become a financial advisor after college.

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