Q. Where did you get your certification/teaching degree?
“ I don’t a have teaching degree; I have a biology degree from Virginia Military Institute.”
Q. Why did you decide to go into education?
“I was looking to make a change and do something more service-oriented and positive. I had a career in the chemical field for 20 years, and before that, I was a military officer. My previous jobs had me travel a lot and it’s a good change.”
Q. Where did you work before getting a job at GCAA?
“ I was a chemical officer in the U.S. Army, and I was sales manager for a chemical company here in St. Louis for 20 years.”
Q. Why did you choose to apply/accept a position at GCAA?
“One is that they offered me a job, so that’s always a good. I did have job offers from other schools, but what really made my difference for me was coming in for Confluence Day back in the spring. They brought in the public to see what the school is all about. I got tours of all the different schools, I got to meet a lot of the kids, [and] the programs they put on. I was very impressed. I thought the staff was motivated and smart, and the students were very talented. It looked like I place where I would be able to make a difference.”
Q. What has been the most challenging part of teaching?
“ The most challenging has been all of the stats and data you have to track. It’s not just getting homework and taking grades; there’s all sorts of behavior with you know attendance. It’s amazing the amount of stuff you have to track on top of being a teacher, like kids that have special education needs. It becomes apparent to me that as long as you know your material, anybody can teach, but in order to be a teacher requires a whole lot of other skills. I also find that it’d be very easy as a teacher to just forget kids, y’know, like if a kid in class that’s not paying attention at all in class and not doing any work. I could just so ‘okay he’s just gonna fail my class,’ but I’m trying to get those to turn around.”
Q. What do you look forward to most this school year?
“I look forward to knowing my kids are leaving my classroom better prepared than when they came in.”
Q. Anything else you think you would like me to know about you?
“ I didn’t grow up here in St. Louis; I grew up in Virgins, but I’ve lived in St. Louis for 20 years. St. Louis is an awesome city; it has amazing architecture, a fantastic history and there’s also obviously some problems in St. Louis, but I hope being here and teaching is helping a little bit. It’s very inexpensive living here, and I always found that there was a good sense of neighborhood. The only states I haven’t been to are Idaho and Hawaii because my job as a chemical manager took me a lot of places.”
Q. How would you describe your teaching style?
“I’m learning; it’s evolving as we speak. I’ve tried to be laid back, I guess. I try not to put a huge amount of emphasis on any one subject or any one thing because some things are more confusing to others, but I think my teaching style’s very active and very up and around. I’m learning as best as I can by watching other teachers and I’m also taking feedback from students.”