Behind the mask: Science teacher Danielle Dastoli

Behind the mask: Science teacher Danielle Dastoli

Ari Collins
eSomethin staff

Danielle Dastoli is the newest science teacher and she is beyond excited to start her journey at PHS, teaching biology and physical science, especially after growing up in the Toledo area. 

“She’s extremely relatable,” Caroline McDonald, a sophomore at Perrysburg High School, said about her biology teacher. According to McDonald, her teacher creates a positive learning environment with fun projects and humor.

“One of my favorite projects was making an ecosystem. It really let my creativity shine and I appreciate her for not picking a boring project,” McDonald said.

Dastoli went to high school at Springfield and then attended Bowling Green State University. 

“I didn’t know I even wanted to be a teacher,” Dastoli said, reporting that she had considered many other career paths, including dentistry, until her junior year of high school.

After college, she taught biology classes at St. Ursula Academy, a private high school in Toledo. She taught there for a year and then decided to switch to Perrysburg.

She said she was very excited to teach in Perrysburg because she did her student-teaching here.

“It was good to be back with people that I had already known [and] colleagues that I’d already kinda worked with. I just have felt very supported since I’ve come.”

There are so many great things about Perrysburg, she reported. She loves the standards-based grading and the “team feel within the teachers. We have planning together so we all got to collaborate. Ever since [student teaching] this is always where I’ve wanted to be.”

Besides the general excitement to be in Perrysburg again, she was happy to be teaching in person. “I feel like last year, with it being my first year, it was just crazy,” she said about being a new teacher during a pandemic.

“We were like in and out of teaching virtual and back in person and so I feel like…nothing has ever been normal for me with teaching…I was here when [COVID-19] shut us down, so I just, there’s never been a normal. I’m okay with that. I’m being flexible, I’m working through it.”

Science in schools

Her favorite thing about teaching science is the fact that anything she teaches can be related to many different things in the real world. For example, she said she can make osmosis easier to understand by talking about how plants wilt when they lose water.

“So I just love that you can always connect it to something in real life,” she said. She also mentioned that she loves to see students who are passionate about science, or even those who want to go into the medical field, get to learn real things that they will learn more in-depth in the future. 

“The students are the best part of my job,” Dastoli said. She says that it is one of the best feelings “when they say that I’m their favorite teacher or that they finally understand a topic that we’ve been working so hard to learn.”

“I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t for them.”

Danielle Dastoli

Dastoli knows that, like any other subject, some students don’t particularly enjoy science. She tries to keep them engaged with humor and enthusiasm. “I like to try to make it relatable to their day-to-day lives. I think that that’s the best way to get kids engaged—to make it something that they can understand on a level that they can understand and make it relatable to something they know…”

“I feel like science is important because it is in your everyday life, even when you don’t think about science,” she said. “Like this chair holding me up is physics and us driving our car is acceleration. It’s all around us all the time.”

Something she loves to see is when students begin to notice the science that surrounds them. 

Future at PHS

Dastoli said that she loves Perrysburg’s spirit and that she has especially enjoyed the pep rallies. She explains that she hadn’t experienced “anything like that at St. Ursula, or even at Springfield. Like it was never that intense.”

Besides future pep rallies, she also looks forward to potentially restarting the environmental science courses, which were dissolved previously. “Next year I think I’m going to be taking over environmental science…I’m excited to have a class that would be totally my own.” 

She is excited to bring new ideas to the community and wants everyone to know that she is “trying to be super positive in this time of chaos and often a lot of negativity. I love science and I’m so happy that I’m here and I get to teach every single day in person.”

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