Wolf to Bulldog: Feature on John Olivares


Photo Courtesy of John Olivares

Aside from teaching, Olivares enjoys spending time with his family. He went to Hawaii last summer where he ziplined with his daughter.

Julia Kim and John Xie

Famous for his good sense of humor and friendliness, current Northwood High physics teacher John Olivares will be coming to Portola next year to teach both CP Physics in the Universe and AP Physics in the Universe.

“I love the philosophy of Portola. I’ve heard it described as ‘ultra collaborative.’ That sounds awesome! No one should be so focused on one topic; they become ignorant in everything else.  We should all strive to be Renaissance people,” Olivares said. I look forward to wearing a lot more purple, [but] purple is a non-spectral color and therefore has no associated wavelength. There are no purple photons.”

Teaching at Northwood High since 2002, Olivares knew he wanted to teach physics to high schools students by sharing his love for the subject field. He has expressed his utmost happiness to be able to see students intrigued by what they are learning.

Sharing is caring, and teachers are just sharing something they are passionate about,” Olivares added. “Physics is where we can unlock the secrets of the universe. Everything obeys the laws of physics. If it exists, it can be described with physics.”

While Olivares clearly has a passion for physics, he has also expressed a love for music and enjoys referencing music lyrics often in conversations.

“It’s always nice getting to know new teachers, and I’ve even heard of Mr. Olivares, so I’m really excited, and it’ll be a really good experience, ” sophomore Aliyah Davis said. “I’m excited for AP Physics next year because I’ve heard it’s really centered on math, and I’m interested in seeing how that comes into play and seeing if it’s easier for me since I’m more math-minded.”

Describing his classroom as high-energy organized chaos, he said he hopes to collaborate with his department and other colleagues to contribute to campus culture.

“Every teacher has their own [teaching] style, but I’m sure I will get some great ideas from my new colleagues,” Olivares said.