I am a lifelong Cleveland Heights resident, the youngest of seven growing up in our Berkshire Road home. Dad taught Political Science at JCU, and mom stayed home with us until I was in 3rd grade, when she went to work as an Assistant Bailiff for Judge Sara Hunter. Eighteen hands available to fold, stuff & stamp envelopes meant that our family was always enlisted to help campaigns. It was an exciting way to learn the importance of civic engagement, volunteerism, and service.
I started Coventry Elementary School in the “old” building, and finished in the “new” one. Remembering how eager we were to move into our new building gives me a sense of the excitement that today’s Heights High students feel. Thirteen years in our CHUH schools taught me what an incredible impact great teachers can have on their students. They pushed, supported and inspired us. They made us curious, encouraged us to get involved in our world, and helped us accept, assist and appreciate each other. All of this without a single high stakes test!
I graduated from Heights High in 1985, earned my Bachelors from John Carroll University, and my Masters in Educational Technology from Ursuline College. In the 1990s, I owned Cedar Hill Video at the intersection of Cedar & Fairmount. While running my business I was able to serve a term on the Board of the Friends of the Heights Library, as well as Cleveland Heights City Council’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and Citizen’s Advisory Committee.
My first two years of teaching were in the Cleveland Municipal Schools, in a program for adjudicated middle school students. Unfortunately, budget cuts eliminated the program. In 2003, I joined the staff at Chardon Middle School, where I have taught Eighth Grade American History for the past 14 years. In addition to teaching, I serve on our Local Professional Development Committee, Student Growth Measure Committee and Professional Staff Council. I have helped with levy campaigns, and served on the Steering Committee which guided the development of our Strategic Plan. I served a term as the Vice President of the Chardon Education Association, and spent many years on the CEA’s Executive Committee. I have negotiated three contracts between the Chardon teachers and the Chardon Board of Education. My passion for teaching American History has sent me to teacher institutes in Columbus, Ohio as well as Lowell, Massachusetts and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. I have presented twice at the Ohio Council of Social Studies annual conference, and been an adjunct instructor in the Department of Education at John Carroll University.
My wife of 20 years is also a Heights grad, and our son will be a member of Heights High’s class of 2021.