“If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world. All that we can determine for ourselves is whether we shall meet them well or ill.”
“The Strenuous Life” speech before the
Hamilton Club, Chicago, April 10, 1899
These principles have molded my life. I make every effort to live by them and instill them in the hearts and minds of the young spry minds and faces of the students who pass through the seats of my classroom at Russell High School. Teachers have a golden opportunity to mold and shape future generations and leaders of this great nation. I truly hope when I face God at judgement I can give an accountability of good nature. I hope I have changed or altered the mind of at least one student towards a path of good will towards others. Educators are accountable to give their all. My philosophy is simple: Do not take shortcuts. Be accountable. Hold students accountable. Do not accept failure. Fortunately, I had some of these educators who gave their all and inspired me to achieve greatness.
After graduating high school at Boyd County High School in Ashland, Kentucky, I furthered my education by attending and graduating from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Geography while simultaneously receiving my commission as an officer in the United States Army ROTC program. I served honorably for 27 years in the United States Army Reserve including two overseas deployments in the Middle East (Iraq/Kuwait) supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. I retired from the United States Army after achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
While serving in the military, I worked diligently towards achieving a life-long dream of becoming a Kentucky State Trooper. After several tries, I finally entered and completed the required training at the Kentucky State Police Academy. I held several positions including Trooper, Senior Trooper, Detective, and retired with 20 years as a Master Trooper. Just prior to retiring, I sought out an opportunity to share my experiences in the classrooms. I was able to discover a grand opportunity with the Troops to Teachers program. Troops-to-Teachers is a U.S. Department of Defense program that helps eligible military personnel begin a new career as teachers in public schools where their skills, knowledge and experience are most needed. I had truly learned and experienced things in life that should be shared with younger generations, which is why I chose education as that opportunity.
After brushing up on my historical content for six months, I was able to pass my Praxis exams and receive my provisional credentials to teach school. I started out as a substitute teacher but was later hired as a full-time teacher at a distinguished high school where I currently teach. My primary courses are in the area of Social Studies; more specifically, U.S. History, World History, AP European History and Criminal Justice. What a joy it is to teach curriculum and content to my students. Given this opportunity to teach at a later part of my life is not by accident. I believe God placed me in occupations where I faced tragic circumstances and extremely dangerous situations that changed my behavior and outlook on life. I have truly learned that hard work and dedication result in future rewards. Furthermore, I want my students to understand the realities of the world, not just with academics and grades, but with decision making, ethics, and good morals.
It is still very early in my career since I have only been teaching for seven years. I have taken part in helping my district design its curriculum with new upcoming statewide social studies standards. I attended and participated in changing and adapting my school's new standards to model proposed state standards. I recently completed my Masters in Education in the Teacher-Leader program in order to gain an extra role as a teacher mentor.