Faculty Profile: Steve Nowack, Director of Curriculum and Applied Learning and Humanities Department Chair

Steve Nowack is our Director of Curriculum and Applied Learning, Humanities Department Chair, and the head coach for our boys varsity basketball team. He has been at Rabun Gap for 14 years and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cornerstone University and a Masters in Independent School Leadership from Mercer University. Mr. Nowack has worked in education for almost 20 years and has held many titles during his time at Rabun Gap, including teacher, Middle School Assistant Head, and Head of the Middle School. He resides on campus with his wife Tammi and their four sons - Owen ’21, AJ ’22, Tyler ’26, and Phoenix ’31. When he's not working, Ms. Nowack enjoys golfing, watching sports, and spending time with his family and friends.

How long have you been working at Rabun Gap? 
I have been at Rabun Gap for 14 years.
What made you choose to work at Rabun Gap? 
My friend, Roger Cox, was working here and kept telling me that I need to come check it out. I did, and I have been here ever since.
What did you do before coming to Rabun Gap?
I was a teacher and coach in Albany, GA for 4 years prior.
What makes Rabun Gap special to you? 
The relationships - hands down. Getting to teach and coach students from all over the world is unparalleled. 
Why did you decide to become a teacher? 
I think I always knew I wanted to work with young people, so it seemed liked a natural fit. I also had several teachers.
Tell us about the Applied Learning program and what we can expect at the Applied Learning Summit this year. 
The Applied Learning Summit is one of my favorite days of the year because we get to celebrate all the ways we have created real-world experiences for our students. This year, we are incorporating the Watershed Festival, which is a new twist. I am also excited to see how many teachers have created new experiences and opportunities as we are growing in our second year.
What is it like working at the same school that your children attend(ed)? 
I have always enjoyed it because I get to see them almost every single day no matter the campus. I will say when I was the Middle School Head, I did not enjoy it when I had to discipline my own children for breaking the rules. 
What was your favorite memory from the basketball season this year? 
No question, the defeat of Christ School. Not only are they our biggest rival but also the way we came back from a huge deficit showed the heart of this team. 
What do you like most about working with our students? 
Their unique worldview and perspectives. No matter the classroom setting, having students from all over the world allows for such a diverse experience and understanding. 
What is your favorite memory from the time you have worked here so far? 
Last year's Applied Learning Summit would be my most recent favorite memory. I think as much as the summit was amazing; it was also the first time our whole community had been together since the COVID years. This made it even more fantastic. Also, a close second, would be our first ever win against Christ School. It was a last second play where we scored at the buzzer. I remember running all around like we had just won a state championship! 
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
That one of my front teeth is completely fake from a basketball fall my senior year of high school. 
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.