New math teacher Daniel Garbowitz takes over for Jake Mills


From an excessive love for the University of Michigan to an avid commendation of Michigan State, Room 223 has not only changed loyalties in rival colleges, but it also has changed occupants. New math teacher Daniel Garbowitz has taken over the classes and responsibilities of old teacher Jake Mills.

Garbowitz first began his schooling at Michigan State University, where he hoped to become an engineer. He was good with numbers and had always done well in math and science classes. Soon after interning at an engineering company, Garbowitz realized that he was not meant to be an engineer, and instead, meant to be a math teacher.

“Part of the reason that I didn’t enjoy engineering was because I am a people-person,” Garbowitz said. “I needed to have communication and interaction. During those 5-6 hours a day, I realized that I couldn’t just sit behind a desk and not talk, except to maybe the same four people every once and awhile. That just wasn’t me, and I couldn’t do it.”

When Garbowitz took up teaching, he first began at Coopersville High School where he remained for 11 years. During this time, he also taught at Grand Rapids Community College and continues to do so currently.

“I had always heard great things about the Forest Hills District,” Garbowitz said. “I had a friend who taught math at Forest Hills Eastern, and I have always heard of the district in such high regards. My first impression of FHC was that there was a very strong focus on academics, which I liked a lot.”

Aside from just teaching lessons, Garbowitz said he has tried to bring his passion for numbers and math into each of his classes. He has tried to show that this is just the beginning and that there is so much more to learn even after high school.

“It is hard to convey why math is relevant to kids when all I have to teach them is say, the slope of a line, ” Garbowitz said. “Yes, that’s important, but what I’m trying to show students is that you don’t get to dunk the basketball until you learn how to dribble. So much of what you learn in high school is how to dribble, and you don’t get to play the complete game until after.”

When students ask about the point of a math lesson, Garbowitz’s typical response is to learn.

“My response to that is always something like, well why do you need to learn spanish? Why do you need to learn history, and art?” Garbowitz said. “You don’t go to your job every day and get asked to analyze a speech or maybe even speak fluent Spanish. For the most part, you learn. You learn how to do your job, and you learn how to work.”

The point of a lesson is to learn and eventually, that will help in the future.” ”

According to Garbowitz, learning how to learn is one of the best pieces of advice that he could ever give. Math is one of those subjects that prepares students on how to learn and that is one of the main reasons that he loves teaching it.

Not only that, but he also has a very strong passion and love for numbers, equations, and anything mathematical.

“Math is probably my favorite thing in the world,” Garbowitz said. “Some people will be moved by a piece of music or a painting. Math does that for me, and I feel lucky that I get to share that and teach that to my students.”