World & Classical Languages Department Chair, French, Spanish, Student Council Advisor
Speaker of French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian; Army veteran; established Peninsula singer and actor; Wonder Woman enthusiast—Mr. Daniel is York School’s polyglot dramatis personae.
As a high school senior in his native Virginia, John discovered a predilection for languages that led him to major in French at Mary Washington University. After college, he followed in his father’s and brother’s footsteps by enlisting in the U.S. Army. Mr. Daniel arrived on the Monterey Peninsula in 1995 as an Army specialist, happily tasked with studying Arabic for two years at the DLI.
Having performed in theater his whole life, often alongside his mother, father, and brother, John quickly became a part of Peninsula productions, working with Wharf Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, The Western Stage, MPC Theatre, and Pacific Repertory Theatre. He continues to audition and perform locally.
During a production of Godspell, John realized he had a knack for communicating with adolescents and began to consider a career in teaching language at the high school level. A teacher education program at San José State University, a stint as a seventh and eighth grade French teacher at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto, and a year studying and teaching in Paris led Mr. Daniel to his first long-term substitute teaching position at Seaside High School in 2001. There he taught drama, Spanish, and English as a second language.
Joining the faculty of Stevenson School in 2002, John began a nine-year run teaching all levels of French and Spanish I-III. He completed an immersion M.A. program in French at the University of California, Santa Barbara and regularly led student groups on excursions to France with the Berkeley-based educational tour company ECI. Mr. Daniel joined York School's faculty in 2011. He is thrilled to be teaching French language and cultural awareness in York’s supportive, enthusiastic environment.
A quick Wikipedia read reveals that Mr. Daniel and Wonder Woman have much in common. Like the superheroine, John Daniel exhibits supreme strength as he leads the Health and Fitness weight training class and fearlessly directs York’s Health and Fitness program. He channels her heightened powers of wisdom and empathy as he mentors, inspires, and challenges his French I-V students, sponsors the French Honors Society, and interviews York hopefuls as part of the Admission Committee. Most notably, he imbues the York campus with superhuman energy and irrepressible joie de vivre. (But he’s still waiting for his lasso of truth and weaponized tiara....)