How well do you know our school faculty? Every other week we will be posting an interview with a mystery teacher or administrator, and you can enter your answer in the poll below. Are you ready?
Let the guessing begin!
Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?
A. I really enjoy the interaction with the students. I don’t know if you’ve noticed how often I’m out…in classrooms, out during lunch as often as I can be — but I really like being out and interacting with the students both in class and outside of class.
Q. What was your first impression of BASIS Chandler?
A. Awesome! I’ve actually known about BASIS since before BASIS Chandler opened. I’d been very interested in BASIS and both the curriculum and the student growth that is very evident by the test scores and by the results and just in the variety of activities. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be ‘awesome.’
Q. Can you tell us a little about your background? A. I went to Wheaton College, which is a private Christian college in Illinois. After graduating, my wife and I were youth pastors; I was a substitute teacher. I worked in sales in downtown Chicago for a year. I opened up a restaurant after that: Sweet Tomatoes in Illinois — one of the first Sweet Tomatoes in the Midwest — and worked there for a while. When I started my masters to go into education, my wife and I moved out to Arizona, and I started teaching a variety of classes, mainly junior high English. I taught P.E. for a couple of years; I wrote a Capstone class called Self Reliance. I taught ninth grade English, Spanish, and I was the athletic director, built sets for the school plays, coached cross country, ultimate frisbee, softball, track….so I was very involved in the school. Then, I moved into full-time administration, and I worked with a charter company based out of Idaho and did consulting work for them for the last year. I was thrilled when I got the offer to come to BASIS!
Q. So what inspired you to leave the restaurant and re-enter the world of education?
A. Ever since I was in high school I knew that I wanted to teach, in one avenue or another, whether that was in some kind of youth work, or in actual education. Then, I transferred to Wheaton College sophomore year. I wanted to be a dual major in Spanish and Education, but because of transferring I didn’t have enough time, and I didn’t want to extend my college by an extra year because I was paying for it myself. So I went with the avenue of just the Spanish major, knowing that somehow I would get into education. At that time, the charter movement was very young — actually it just started in Arizona, so I didn’t really have that avenue to go into education without a teaching certificate. So as I was in the restaurant, I started my Masters degree in Education and wanted to finish that so I could start teaching, and at that time, I had two brothers who were attending a charter school here in Arizona. My wife and I decided we’d look into it, and actually my first teaching job — or the only teaching job I ever had — was at their school. After I accepted the position, another one of my brothers accepted a teaching position there too…so my first year teaching I had three of my brothers at the school with me, which was pretty cool.
Q. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you spend it?
A. What is free time? Umm…I really enjoy spending time with my kids. They are 6, 4, and 2. I enjoy gardening and yard work. I also really enjoy woodwork; like this summer I made an entry bench.
Q. What songs are included in the soundtrack to your life?
A. I’m going to go with Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood.” That was actually a song played at my wedding. There’s a song by Louden Wainwright called “Daughter,” and for me that’s very significant with my two oldest daughters.
Q. What do you miss most about being a kid?
A. You know, I really don’t. I like the responsibility of being an adult. Some people say there is much more freedom as a kid, but I would argue that. (I like arguing.) So I would say that while there are things that aren’t my favorite about being an adult, like paying taxes or paying a mortgage, I don’t miss being a kid. Some people say they don’t like having a job, but even when you’re a kid you have a job. It’s called school. If I had to say that there was something I miss about being a kid it would be having all my friends close by.
Q. If you could witness any event past, present, or future, what would it be?
A. I would really like to witness the creation of one of my favorite artistic pieces of all time: the Sistine Chapel. I once got to go see the Sistine Chapel six years ago, and when I walked into it, it was so overwhelmingly amazing. I think that watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel would probably be something, although it’s not really an event since it took him so long.
Q. Are there any other interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share?
A. I really like being active. I like biking, ultimate frisbee, running….just doing anything; I can’t sit still very long. Interesting facts: about seven years ago I cut off my thumb doing a woodworking project. I love telling that story to people. I’ve been married for fifteen years, which is pretty cool. I also really like doing house projects; I love remodeling my house, painting, doing the floors, and changing out ceiling fans…anything that involves movement and work. And I’m a diehard Chicago Bears fan!
Well, bobcats, that concludes our interview for this week! Hmm…so who could it be?? Leave your answer in the poll below!
Check in next Friday for the correct answer!