Q&A With New Science Instructional Lead Erik Olah


Olah discusses questions with his AP Biology students Naomi Jekcer-Eshel (left) and Nathan Strope (right). Although he enjoys teaching, one benefit of teaching fewer classes is the reduced grading, according to Olah. Photo by Anna Tomz

Nicole Adamson and Anna Tomz

Teaching transition

After 15 years teaching, 12 of which at Palo Alto High School, Erik Olah is now Instructional Leader of the Science Department. Veritas sat down with Olah who currently teaches AP Biology and Marine Biology to see how he is adjusting to his new role.

Veritas: What does being IL involve?
Olah: “I lead department meetings and I coach for teachers. I help them in terms of classroom help students learn and that kind of thing. I also attend [school-wide] meetings … [and] I bring back information to share with the department.”
Veritas: What are your interests outside of school?
Olah: “I’ve been coaching [basketball] on and off for about 13 years, and I have two young children at home, so I hang out with my family.”
Veritas: What are the noticeable differences between being IL and being a teacher?
Olah:  “I have less interaction with students. In two more years, just think of how many fewer students I’ll know. It’s just a different feeling.”