Golden Apple – August 2019

Dan Gant


Annika Pepper

Science teacher Dan Gant holds the Golden Apple award for the month of August. Gant is the first recipient of the award for the 2019-2020 school year.

Starr’s Mill Chemistry and AP Computer Science teacher Dan Gant has been chosen as the first Golden Apple recipient for the 2019-2020 school year. Selected by assistant principal Brandi Meeks, Gant has been honored for his ability to create a classroom environment “where excellence and creativity merge.”

I think every kid is gifted. We just have to find out where their giftedness is.”

— Golden Apple recipient Dan Gant

“His children are gone, but he still continues to give back, not just in the classroom, but to his department, community, sports, and things like that.” Meeks said. “He is very much involved and well rounded.”

Gant is a unique member of the Starr’s Mill faculty in many aspects. The fact that he stays invested in the school as a cross country coach, while his daughters are pursuing life beyond college, just goes to show how much Gant exudes school spirit. 

“I’ve been around since the beginning of time,” Gant said. “This is weird, but next year I will have taught in six different decades, so I’ve been around for a while. I think it makes me unique that I taught before computers, cell phones, and that kind of stuff, and now I’m teaching still.”

Like many science teachers at the Mill, Gant has taught a variety of subjects over the years. However, because he has seen a drastic enhancement of technology present in the classroom, he has been able to mix older teaching methods with modern techniques in order to enlighten students in the most efficient way possible. 

Plenty of teachers at the Mill help students by focusing a great deal of attention on a student’s inability to understand a concept. However, Gant teaches by a different set of principles.  


“My philosophy is that every kid is gifted in some way,” Gant said. “I teach a lot of gifted students, but I think every kid is gifted. We just have to find out where their giftedness is. What I’m supposed to do is take their giftedness and make it even better, and take their weakness and build it up as much as I possibly can.”

Gant’s strategy for teaching is to instruct individual students in ways they understand best. By knowing what students specialize in, Gant is able to individually help each student by using teaching methods unique to them. 

“Probably interacting with the students [is my favorite part of teaching],” Gant said. “I mean it has to be your favorite part of it because if you don’t like that part you should not be teaching. When you see those kids that finally have that ‘aha’ moment and understand it, there’s something that you feel like they are going to need it later.”

 Because of Gant’s teaching methods, extracurricular involvement, charismatic presence in the classroom, and “stoiched” attitude toward science, he has given students at the Mill an education they won’t soon forget.