Andrew Poterek

Science Teacher

Mr. Poterek graduated from Oakland University with a degree in physics and a certification in secondary education teaching. He has been teaching since 2012 and has had positions in both traditional and virtual school settings in that time.

As a teacher, he has done a great deal of research into various methods of science education, and feels a strong connection with the modeling methods which were founded by David Hestenes and Malcolm Wells. Modeling Methods focus on generating student-driven experiences that lead to the development of scientific models that explain physical phenomena.

Mr. Poterek believes in the importance of asking students to consider the questions “Why?” and “How?” vs. jumping to the answers. He describes that, “the conversations I have had with students that lead to ‘ah ha!’ moments and their feeling of discovery are quite rewarding and I definitely feel as though the modeling method has helped my students to develop a functional understanding of physical science, in addition to the skills and tools needed to investigate many of their own questions in life.”

Outside of teaching, Andrew enjoys playing baseball, ultimate frisbee, sand volleyball, and golf, in addition to camping/hiking, playing board games, playing guitar, writing, etc. In the warmer months, he officiates baseball and softball games in the evenings and was formerly a high school golf coach and assistant baseball coach. He greatly enjoys visiting new places and learning about the culture, history, values, and customs unique to different places. In his travels, he has taken a particularly strong interest in Japanese and Chinese culture as a result of the relationships he made in his travels. Mr. Poterek has a sister that lives in Oregon and a dog that he rescued named Munchkin. Munchkin loves to go for walks, eat food, destroy toys, cuddle, and clean out peanut butter jars.

Why Andrew chose MIPS...

“When considering the position that was offered to me at MIPS, I felt it was important to consider what the school’s vision was for students and what opportunities they provided students so they were career-ready. In my hiring meetings, superintendent Drew Hulbert discussed the relationships MIPS was building with vocational schools and colleges in an effort to help students to find their life passion and provide training that can prepare students to be successful as they complete the secondary education process. I was impressed with the idea of k-12 education being less of a generic obstacle that stands in the path of students life work and more of a platform that examines where a student wants to be in life in order to connect them with the tools and ideas they will need in order to be successful on that journey. The opportunities MIPS was investigating resonated with programs and ideas that I was trying to bring to other programs I had worked with, and it sounded like there was an opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the administration team to help shape the opportunities offered to students, which is why I accepted the offer and have worked here ever since!”