New chemistry teacher brings diverse background to Bearden


Kira Suerth

Mr. Daniel Haller taught in Florida before moving to Knoxville.

Madison Tenney, Editor-in-chief

Bearden High School has welcomed many new teachers this year, including new chemistry teacher Mr. Daniel Haller.

Mr. Haller started his career in education by teaching a GED course at Faulkenberg Road County Jail in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Haller then taught at Zephyrhills High School in Zephyrhills, Florida.

“Zephyrhills High School was a smaller school in the country town about 30 minutes from Tampa,” Mr. Haller said. “I was highly involved in my church and at the YMCA in Zephyrhills, so I knew many of my students from being part of the community.”

He came to Knoxville because he wanted a change of scenery and wanted to move closer to family that already live in Tennessee.

Mr. Haller found himself drawn to Bearden because of its academic rigor and the high praise that he heard of the school’s students.

“I think it is very important for a school to not only challenge the students to grow academically, but I also want to see the school hold the students accountable to grow and challenge themselves academically and in character,” Mr. Haller said.

“I want to work at a school that equips students to change this world for the better.”

However, Mr. Haller had not always planned on becoming a teacher. He found himself interested in the medical world at a young age and pursued a career in the medical field.

“I planned to be a medical doctor and was in my third year of medical school when I had to make the decision to either continue on to become a doctor and possibly lose my family,” Mr. Haller said. “I was not good at balancing the stress of medical school and being the father and husband that I needed to be.

“I chose my family and quit medical school. I decided that I love science and wanted to share this love and passion with future generations, and found teaching would be the best way to do this. Teaching allows me the time and stress-free life to be the father and husband I want to be, and still allows me to be part of shaping and changing the future generations, while sharing my love for science.”

Mr. Haller said his experience growing up with the difficulties of living in inner-city Tampa helps him empathize with “how hard high school and adolescence can be.” He is the only one of his siblings who graduated from high school.

“The odds were stacked against me, but people pushed me and helped me believe in myself,” he said. “I want students to know that I can relate to their struggles, and I will always believe in them and try to help push them to reach further than they could imagine.”

Teaching has taught Mr. Haller many lessons in life, and he learns the majority of them from his students.

“I’ve learned that students are innately good, and just need someone to believe in them and love them,” Mr. Haller said. “The most important thing I’ve learned as a teacher is to always hold on to hope and to never give up on any student.”