Dave Olenchek - Pre-calc/Mathematics Department Chair

March 10, 2010
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“Now let’s warm up with some obliques,” Mr. O says slowly reaching his out stretched arms across his body. “Ouch!”
These corny jokes became normal humor in Mr. Olenchek’s pre-calc class.
Although math comes easy to me, I have never enjoyed the dreadful 40 minute class, until my eyes were opened in Mr. O’s pre-calc class. He understands different students have different ways of learning and covers multiple methods of learning. He makes learning fun. He connects with students by getting to know them and uses reasoning that relates to their life.
I see Mr. O twice a day and he is constantly smiling, saying “good morning,” “good afternoon,” or “see you tomorrow” to the students who pass him.
As an athlete himself, Mr. O understands the busy lifestyles and the stress students have. He offers guidance to achieve in athletics and in school. He expects an effort in return.
Mr. O is constantly helping students who struggle in math during free periods, lunch breaks, before school, and after school. He is persistent to help each student understand each lesson. He has a knack for viewing bad habits and helps students break them.
Mr. O enjoys teaching and enjoys watching students succeed.
Most students enjoy gym classes or study halls, but I can’t wait until third hour pre-calc class. For the first time in my life I can say I am not like everyone else, and I’m not ashamed of it.
Mr. O brings out the best of me and helps me enjoy doing math. He makes class interesting, constantly changing things up to keep on the edge of my seat. But most importantly he makes math class enjoyable. He teaches me math through fun ways, I don’t even know I am learning at the same time.
“To get the sine, we take the opposite side over the hippopotamus.”
A student’s eyebrows twist with curiosity saying, “What? Hippopotamus?”
“Are you okay? Do I need to call your friends in the white jackets? You know the one who brings you ice cream?” Mr. O says, as the class laughs hysterically.
Scholarly. Enthusiastic. Energetic. These words are a few of the characteristics that Mr. Olenchek possesses. Funny. Genuine. Selfless.





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