John is a transplant from the private sector, where he worked as vice president of a company specializing in rescue and safety equipment sales and training. In a search of a career change that matched his passion for teaching and the environment, John returned to OVS, where his father, Otis Wickenhaeuser, taught in the 1950s and 1970s. John became the Director of Technology in 2010 and added a new role as the Director of Sustainability in 2015. He also teaches AP Environmental Science, coaches baseball, and assists with the Ropes Course. John played a key role in the school being named a California Green Ribbon School in 2017 for its sustainability initiatives. John’s son, James, and daughter, Claire, both graduated from OVS and are pursuing careers in engineering and environmental science.
When not in the classroom, I can be found
Hiking, backpacking, camping, or tinkering in the garage or under the hood of a car. Definitely not at a computer.
What students call me
Mr. Wick, which is also what students called my dad when he taught at OVS.
Most memorable OVS camping experience
Camping in the eastern Sierras with the high school football team. The boys woke at dawn to run plays in the park next to Mono Lake before playing the Lee Vining Tigers. We cooked mounds of bacon on that trip. Those boys could eat.
One thing students don’t know about me
In my former rescue and safety training career I used to hang off the edge of buildings, roller coasters, towers — and I crawled into confined spaces. Your perspective of the world changes when you’re on the end of a rope.