How punk rock keeps AP History teacher revved for class


Moroaica jams out with his band at a night show in Downtown, LA. “Individually I practice about 30-45 minutes a day, but with my band, we practice about twice a month, we do shows sometime too”, Moroaica says.


Olivia Gonzalez Britt, cub writer
Wearing his Doc Martens and mutton chops, AP U.S. History and Government teacher Dan Moroaica has the time to work, be with his family and live the secret life of a punk rockstar.
Moroaica and his friends founded the Cirkumvent band in 1996 during their sophomore year of high school in Downey, California. Like many others that start in a garage, the band was a way to connect and “hang out,” but morphed into a two-decade long pursuit of musical passion.
“We chose the name Cirkumvent as it is a unique verb that hardly anyone used. As for the misspelling, it was a 1990s trend to misspell band names,” Moroaica said, without realizing it would also be a perfect way to ensure easy web searches.
Over the 20 years, both the band and the players evolved and they still find ways to be relevant with young followers such as senior Blake Ackerman.
“It’s cool how Mr. Moroaica has stuck to his roots. He kept his friends that all loved punk together and they’ve continued both their friendship and their music legacy,” Ackerman concludes.
Moroaica’s early musical career playing in the band helped him prepare for the stress of being a high-school teacher. All three members of Cirkumvent juggle multiple jobs Moroaica notes. Singer Scott Childress is a college math professor and drummer Bryan Chagolla curates an art studio. To keep up with their band and family, sometimes they have to combine the two. This means guitar strumming and baby stroller pushing can coincide at their garage get togethers.
“It gets interesting, as we now have to plan practice sessions/playdates. The biggest challenge though has been finding time to practice in between work and family. You try your best, but sometimes you just gotta sleep,” Moroaica said.
Moroaica’s personal passion, positive energy and upbeat character inspires high school students like junior Reiya Matsumoto, who says Moroaica is a favorite teacher.
Waking up the crowd and the students’ attention is something that comes naturally to Moroaica. “Yeah, I hear him scream GOOOOOD MORNING in his classroom even when I am way over near the library,” Matsumoto said.
What is this teacher’s final lesson on leading a secret life?
“If you think about it and start fearing it, it will only get bigger in your mind. Get out there and just start. Once you’re in the groove, everything will be natural and you’ll have fun.”