Teacher Feature: Mr. Gilson


Senior Jackson Pierce dressed up as his math teacher James Gilson for Halloween. “I wanted to have the scariest costume in the school,” Pierce said.

On the first day of school, James Gilson welcomed his A.P. Calculus students with a strenuous exam. He piled homework on the desks, and gave us a quiz nearly everyday. Although he was stern and intimidating for the first few weeks of class, throughout the year, students see who he really is: a man who truly cares about his students and their education.

“He’s really scary in class, but great outside of it,” junior Jenny Zhang said. “He helped me a lot during tutoring when I didn’t understand Calculus, and his constant motivation lead me to do well on the A.P. exam.”

Gilson pushes all his students to their best and believes in them even when they don’t believe in themselves. He creates easy-to-understand solutions for problems and tutors almost everyday before school and at TASC. Although he maintains a strict demeanor in class, he makes himself approachable to his students. He even holds sessions and mock exams on the weekends to help his students.

“He would always make us chant, ‘Calculus is elegant and easy, it’s the Algebra and Trig that trip you up,’ and he was right,” senior Megha Nelluri said. “He made me love Calculus, and even as I struggled through the class, he always helped me.”

From keeping snacks for his students in his cabinets, to providing a breakfast buffet before the AP exam, Gilson leaves no stone unturned when it comes to caring for his students’ needs.

“The amount of hardwork and dedication he puts in for his students is surreal to me,” senior Anushka Yadava said. “I have truly learned more in his AP Calculus class than I have in my 16 years of life.”

Gilson helps his students tremendously through a tough college-level class, and every year his students predominantly get fours and fives on the AP exam.