News: Math Teacher Mr. Nicholas Michels Resigns to Students’ Dismay

Photo Credit: Eliza Gutierrez-Dewar

Mr. Nicholas Michels is currently teaching his second year at M-A.

Earlier this month, it was decided that math teacher Mr. Nicholas Michels will not be teaching at M-A next year. The Algebra I and integrated math teacher received from the administration a non-reelect–an official decision against his return–and he recently chose to resign instead.
Michels began teaching at M-A in the fall of 2012 after transferring from a school district in San Francisco, a city that he says lacks teaching positions with resources and stability. Prior to his resignation, he believed that M-A would be a good fit for him: “I felt that my teaching style gelled well with the population that I work with here at this school.” As a result, he was surprised to receive a non-reelect and had anticipated a long career at the school.

The announcement of Michels’s departure has since spurred vehement protest from his students including a formal petition on the website organized by junior Monica Krantz, who believes Michels to be “an all-around compassionate guy who doesn’t deserve to be kicked out.” Another student who signed the petition, junior Brayam Espinosa wrote: “I don’t really like math, but when Mr. Michels taught me integrated math during sophomore year, I really looked forward to going to his class.” Nonetheless, the administration will have the ability to dismiss Michels regardless of the petition’s success.

Michels is grateful for the support and the overall positive attitude of his students: “It’s been great working with the students here,” he said. “Of all the students I’ve ever had, they’ve been the most enjoyable to work with. They come on time, they’re ready to work, regardless of skill level.”

As for the future, Michels remains undecided on what career path he wishes to pursue. He has considered both continuing teaching and looking to take up something new. “The one thing I do know is that I love working with kids,” he explained, “and I’m a strong advocate for young people having their own agency and making a change in the world.”