To Daniel Landgrebe, life is all about experiencing new things which is one of the reasons why he moved to Hawaii. Landgrebe is no stranger to moving around. He was born and raised in Minnesota, lived in New Orleans, and taught in New York. Hawaii is the ninth state that he has lived in. He is currently part of Kaiser’s science department, teaching four biology classes, Advanced Placement Environmental Science, and physical science.
As a teenager, Landgrebe attended a large high school in Minnesota that offered a variety of extracurricular activities. Being involved in many different clubs and sports in high school influenced his desire to try new things. Even after he graduated from high school, he continued to pursue other interests outside of his main job. He explored over 32 jobs before he was able to find one job that he really enjoyed: teaching.
Landgrebe cultivated his new passion for teaching during his stay in New York City, where he first received training to be a biology teacher. He enrolled in a certification program called the New York City Teaching Fellows. “It really changed my whole career. [It] allowed me to stay in New York City… I guess teaching allowed me to [encounter this life changing experience].” Landgrebe considers his time spent in New York as the most influential period of his life. During this time, he was also learning from his first mentor teacher and role model, Natalie Dennison. He spent a year in the classroom learning from her. “She had a very non-stop approach…she always had a plan and always was working towards it…she was also able to develop some great relationships with students.” The experience that he has gained from working with Dennison has helped to shape the way that he teaches. Even now, Landgrebe is always striving to be the best teacher that he can be.
Aside from his goal to improve himself as a teacher, another one of his goals is to fit into Hawaii’s culture. When Landgrebe first arrived with his girlfriend and one and a half year-old son, he was met with a major culture shock. “Everyone and everything is so laid back which was a bold contrast from New Yorkers and their blunt personalities,” he said. “So far, I just want to say that Hawaii has been really generous and kind,” said Landgrebe. One aspect of Hawaii that he appreciates is the different hiking trails. Landgrebe also wants to learn to surf in his spare time.
Landgrebe also enjoys working at Kaiser. “I have really enjoyed my time here at Kaiser. The administration has been awesome and the students have been great,” he said. Reflecting on his own high school experiences, Landgrebe said, “[It’s important to] talk to everybody and get involved in something you’ve never done before. There’s tons of clubs, tons of sports here, even if you’re not sure if you’re interested, give it a shot!”