Dr. Rockett Takes Off at LHS


Aly Caywood, News Writer

All teachers have something that makes them unique individuals, whether that is their teaching style, personality, or accent, perhaps.

Dr. John Rockett is a new biology and physical science teacher at Lakeland High School. Along with his British accent, Dr. Rockett has many interesting attributes. He has lived in both America and England and has led a very remarkable life as a researcher and now a teacher. 

Dr. Rockett was born in Springfield (MA) but soon moved to northern England, where he was raised. He attended British school through year thirteen and continued on to get a bachelor’s degree in microbiology and a Ph.D. in Cancer Immunology at the University of Warwick.

After becoming a qualified research scientist, Dr. Rockett studied nongenotoxic hepatocarcinogenesis, which is a cancer-related study. He did this at the University of Surrey. He then acquired a postdoctoral position within the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  in North Carolina, where he studied reproductive toxicology.  He was subsequently brought on at the EPA as a Principal Investigator and, during his tenure there, was also awarded adjunct professor status at North Carolina State University.

In hopes of greater opportunities, Dr. Rockett moved across the country to Seattle, Washington, where he worked for a subsidiary of Merck called Rosetta Inpharmatics, a medical drug company. Just a year later, his research division was shut down, and Dr. Rockett moved on to work for a remodeling company and later as a facility worker for his church.  

After his experience working in the United States, Dr. Rockett decided to move back to England, where he went through teacher training.  Once his training was complete, he became a high school science teacher in England in 2012.  He enjoyed the position and felt he was making a more significant impact by teaching high school students than he did as a qualified researcher.  

Dr. Rockett’s children moved to the United States, and wanting to support them, Dr. Rockett and his wife moved as well in 2020.  They moved to Idaho because it is close to where his daughter lives.  Dr. Rockett worked as a Couer d’ Alene school district bus driver before becoming a teacher here at Lakeland High School.

He came to Lakeland because of the location but has since observed a strong sense of community among the staff and peers.  Between sports games, mascots, dressing up, and staff interactions, Dr. Rockett has appreciated the school spirit that is stronger at Lakeland than it ever was in England.  He said, “I’ve really enjoyed this school so far because there is a sense of community and family among the staff and students,” and, “I really like the staff. They are supportive and create a family-like atmosphere.”

Dr. Rockett also discussed the difference in the learning systems between America and England.  “The UK education system is more teacher and information lead.  You have to recall information for the test.  In the US, it is more student-led; you teach students to think and learn for themselves,” he explained.

Today, Dr. John Rockett enjoys teaching his students, doing things outdoors, growing plants, animals, fishing, and metal detecting.  He said, “Biology is my passion. I’ve always liked anything to do with natural history.”  

He said he is looking forward to the opportunity of becoming more involved. 

“It’s a very blessed situation that we find ourselves in,” he said.