Golden Apple Nominee Loves Math, Teaching, Inspiring Students


Olivia Vanden Elzen, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

One of NDA’s most beloved math teachers, Mr. Douglas Guyette, has been nominated for this year’s Golden Apple Award.

The Golden Apple award is designed to honor outstanding teachers who do not receive nearly the amount of recognition they deserve.

“It is truly an honor to be nominated. So many outstanding teachers from NDA have been nominated in the past, and I am proud to even be a part of that group,” said Guyette.

The Green Bay native attended West Green Bay High School and later studied at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay where he majored in Mathematics with a minor in Secondary Education.

As long as he can remember, Guyette knew he wanted to be a teacher, but never really knew exactly what he wanted to teach. He finally decided on Mathematics because of his “aptitude for the subject and the fact that there would be fewer math teachers looking for a job rather than, say, Social Studies or English teachers.”

“To be honest, I actually never really understood math until I had to teach it. But, once I saw the true beauty and scope of the subject, I fell in love,” Guyette explained.

After graduating college in 1996, like most other graduates, Guyette was restless and eager to gain experience. It was his thirst for exposure that ultimately led him to the decision to join the Peace Corps before jumping right into teaching.

“I was surprised to learn that [the Peace Corps] needed high school teachers, so I was able to serve as a volunteer and gain two years of teaching experience overseas.”

Through the Peace Corps he taught at a Catholic boarding school in Papua, New Guinea, from 1997 to 1999, after which he finally came home to teach at Lincoln High School in Manitowoc, later landing his “dream job” at NDA.

“The students at NDA are really fun to joke around with, so I can be working and having a blast at the same time. Some days, even though I don’t stop working from the moment I arrive [at school], it doesn’t feel like dreadful drudgery thanks to quality interactions with wonderful students,” said Guyette.

Currently in his seventh year at NDA, he teaches Honors Algebra 2, Calculus 1, and IB High Level Mathematics 1 and 2.

“Mr. Guyette is always working to make learning more effective for students, whether it is in Math or another subject. He is not afraid to try new things, and he is also very willing to share what works and collaborate with other teachers in order to improve teaching and learning in all areas. He truly makes the school better for everyone”, said Mr. Matthew Schultz, NDA IB Coordinator and Social Studies teacher.

When he isn’t giving students advice about how to solve calculus problems, he likes to tell stories about his own life experience and offer life advice as well.

“Something I like to encourage students to do is to keep an open mind, and to never be so rigid in your worldview that you are unable to change in the face of contradictory evidence. I was convinced when I was 25 that I had this whole existence thing sorted out. But in the past 20 years I have seen and heard so many truths that forced me to realized that I may never have it all figured out, and that’s okay.”

In his free time, Guyette enjoys reading, spending time with his family (especially playing games), travelling, going to concerts, and playing the drums.

“I love all things music. I play the drums, and I actually get to play in a couple of part-time bands. I am also the drummer in the open mic host band at the Blue Opus,” said Guyette.

In the future, he hopes to continue teaching mathematics at NDA and “hopefully be a vagrant living on the beaches in Mexico, running from the law,” Guyette added jokingly.