When Zac Gavin enters his Maquoketa High School classroom next fall, he will become part of a long family legacy. Three generations of the University of Iowa student’s family have a cumulative 152 years of working in the Iowa school district.
“If a child today stays in the Maquoketa Community School District long enough, they could start pre-K with my sister, have my mom for kindergarten, and then end with senior year physics with me,” Gavin says. “I think that’s kind of neat.”
Gavin will graduate this May from the UI College of Education with a BA in science education and BS in science studies (all science). He will return to his alma mater to teach high school science courses and coach middle school football and wrestling.
While teaching is in his blood and his mom told him that he’d make a good teacher, it wasn’t his first choice. But a physics class during his junior year of high school changed his mind.
“I’ve always loved science classes and I thought to myself, ‘I would love to do this. Why don’t I do this?’” Gavin says. “I thought I wanted to be a dentist, but I just realized I would have more fun teaching science.”
Teaching may not have been his first choice, but going to the UI was.
“I never even visited another school. I always knew I was going to be a Hawkeye,” Gavin says. “It’s a top-tier university, and you can’t get better than Iowa in terms of quality of education. There is cutting-edge research going on, not just in science fields but in the education field as well. I feel like a very competent educator, and that’s all thanks to my education here.”