Szostek Brings a New Element to His Chemistry Classes


Photo by Nicole Novak

Johnathan Szostek sits at his desk as he teaches one of his Chemistry classes.

Connor Whitfill, Staff Writer

It’s dusk outside as Jonathan Szostek hits the pause button on his final podcast. After a few edits and clicks, he uploads it to his Canvas course. 

Mr. Szostek has taught for over 19 years and continues to teach Advanced and AP Chemistry. His lessons improve each year as technology advances and the curriculum changes. In 2004, Mr. Szostek started to make podcasts about each lesson for students to tune in and listen to whenever they struggle with a unit.

I want to be in chemistry class. It’s great,” Mr. Szostek said. I try to make bad chemistry jokes and dad jokes to get a smile from my students.” 

Advanced Chemistry student Jacob Kleinjan, 10, plans to pursue AP Physics next year, however, he appreciates Mr. Szostek’s course.

He has like a dry sense of humor and I really appreciate it,” Kleinjan said. “There are younger teachers that have adopted a different teaching style that he just hasn’t switched over to yet and I don’t blame him.”

Aden Vu enrolled in AP Chemistry and hoped to see Mrs. Stanley teach the course this year. Although it surprised him to see a new chemistry teacher, it did not stop his in-class participation.

“He’s a really nice teacher,” Vu said. “He has a great personality.”

Although some students may not appreciate Mr. Szostek’s lectures, they welcome him as their chemistry teacher.

“I will always help when I can,” Mr. Szostek said. I try to make my students aware of the everyday events in chemistry around them to try to bring it a little bit closer home.”