Gade & Johnson: The Amazing Duo of MBHS’ Chemistry Department

By Haley Hart

December 20, 2023

When asked which of their classes were the most fun, most 10th graders I spoke to only had one answer, “chemistry”. The idea of “fun class” is of course subjective, what might be amusing to some, won’t be to others, but after asking over 15 sophomores, the vote was unanimous. When asked what made chemistry such an enjoyable class, one student had this to say, “when I say ‘fun’, I’m not talking about the notes, or the tests, or even the labs, I’m talking about the teachers, they are what make the class truly fun.” 

Johnson and Gade biking

Mr. Johnson, AKA Elliott, grew up in Morro Bay and attended school at Mission Prep. He spoke about his experience in school saying, “I struggled sometimes but my best subject was always science.”

Johnson has been teaching professionally since 2013. He began subbing at Morro Bay High School in 2021 and started student teaching in fall of 2022 for Mr. Gade. Johnson shared that he hadn’t originally set out to teach, however teaching found him in its own way. He shared, “I went to college in Santa Cruz and got my undergraduate degree in biology and my masters in sustainable agriculture, and after I got a teaching job I realized it was what I wanted to do.” 

I spoke to one of his students, Madelyn Moss, who had this to say about his teaching style, “it is so relaxed and laid back, I really do love that class. It doesn’t feel like work”. 

Johnson also recalled student teaching alongside Mr. Gade saying, “I learned a lot and it was very cool to see one of my close friends in a teaching position.”

Mr. Gade has been teaching at Morro Bay High for 2 decades. He teaches applied chemistry, AP chemistry, and bio tech. Before teaching, he worked both in construction and in a lab, where he met his now wife, who also went into teaching. Gade shared that his favorite part of his job is, “getting to know the students and just talking to them”. 

I spoke to Logan Kusko, a student of Mr. Gades’ who said, “Mr. Gade is one of the best teachers I have ever had, he is so welcoming, he makes topics comprehensible for the average student, and chem is literally by far my favorite class this year”.