Students may recognize Cyriakos Nichols by the green golf club he frequently swings around in E hall of Carlmont High School.
He displays a similar quirkiness in his classroom where, according to history teacher Jayson Waller, he “combines historical knowledge with zen buddhism better than anyone I’ve ever met.”
Nichols teaches world history to freshmen and modern European history for sophomores.
He paid his own way through college and attended numerous schools such as Cañada college, San Diego State University, and San Francisco State University.
“When I started in college, I just went and pursued things that I wanted to do. I didn’t look for what would make me money or what my parents wanted. I threw that all aside and said, ‘I like history,’ so I went with that, and by my senior year of college I decided to become a teacher,” said Nichols.
After the death of his father, Nichols took two years off from teaching in South San Francisco to travel the world.
Nichols said, “I didn’t want to go back to work just yet, so I took some savings and basically dropped of the face of the planet. I went through Asia, to Nepal, the Himalayas, and India; I went to Greece, and England and one of my favorite cities I went to was Paris,”
His travels have given him a unique perspective and have aided him in teaching world history to his students.
“Teaching is this evolutionary thing, and the curriculum and expectations have evolved. Still, my favorite method of teaching is to lecture because it communicates the ideas quickly, easily and the kids understand it almost immediately,” said Nichols.
“Mr. Nichols is a great history teacher and is also very funny. He really helps his students write good essays as well as teach us history,” said sophomore Cassidy Sobey.
The pizza lover and closeted Rihanna fan would live a very laid back life if he wasn’t teaching.
Nichols said, “In my free time I do buddhist meditation, I like to draw, do trail running and hang out with my friends. For years I used to competitively race mountain bikes. If I wasn’t a teacher I would be somewhere like Fiji, surfing and hanging out on the beach. I’m either a teacher or a bum, there is no in-between.”