I was born in Marysville, KS, a small town near the Nebraska/Kansas state line. I was fortunate to be able to spend most of my childhood afternoons playing outside and dreaming up wild adventures for me and my siblings to partake in. I have managed to carry this enthusiasm for life that was fostered by my family and friends when I was a kid to my version of adulthood.
After high school, I originally decided to attend Washburn University in Topeka, KS as a Mass Media major and a member of the debate/forensics team, but I quickly learned that I was not as interested in those activities as I thought. I resigned from the team and decided that I would pursue a degree in English with an emphasis in secondary education. I loved the literature courses. I relished in the fact that a reader could interpret texts in multiple ways. The intricacies of the interpretation process were at times painstakingly difficult, but I cannot imagine myself as well-suited for any other area
While my student teaching experience was great, and I had been extended a job offer from the school, I knew that I was not finished being a student. So, I decided upon Kansas State University, because they have a very accomplished Children’s Literature program, which is the track I was originally on. After taking a few courses on the Rhetoric and Composition track to fulfill requirements for the Technical Writing Certificate, I found that I was spending more time on and enjoying the investigations I was doing on issues related to my Rhetorical Theory and Technical Communication courses. I then switched my emphasis, and although I still have a great appreciation for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, I am very happy that I made the switch.
Philosophy on Education/Literacy:
I sought out District 6 when I was looking for jobs in Colorado, because I knew that I would end up in a diverse school district where students' backgrounds vary from desk to desk. Teaching literature and writing to students who can bring unique, life experiences to texts will open up new arenas of thought for a class to explore. As Deborah Brandt describes it literacy is one of the most powerful currencies a person can possess. I believe my work ethic, dedication, enthusiasm, and passion make me a perfect candidate to help students develop and refine their literacy skills.
Deborah Brandt in Literacy in American Lives discusses how important literacy has been and continues to be in people’s lives. While I had never thought about my job as an English teacher to be giving students a type of currency, Brandt’s argument when she equates literacy with dramatically improved economic circumstances is too powerful to deny. The battle for Language Arts teachers I that literacy does not have a stable definition. “Learning to read and write has taken place amid convulsive changes in economic and social life, education expectations, and communication technologies. This has been a time when the meaning of what it is to be literate has seemed to shift with nearly every generation.” While the meaning of literacy has changed often, the value of effective reading, writing, and communicating has continually increased. As an educator, I want to help students acquire the means necessary to improve their literacy; as well as, inspire students to always strive toward better literacies.
Life as I currently know it:
The majority of you reading this know these things, but I am fortunate to have a wonderful wife who regularly subs in the district, often times at NHS. We were married in a beautiful ceremony on September 28th of 2012. We have a great, little dog, Schatzie, that goes on tons of adventures around the region with us.
Additionally, I love to start my day with a good cup of coffee. I am eternally excited about springtime and the beginning of baseball season, and I'm always a little sad when the last game rolls around in late October. The Kansas City Royals are my favorite team, and they will be forever. My favorite books in no particular order are: Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby,The Grapes of Wrath, Frankenstein, Shoeless Joe, and Walden. However, many students have found out that if a book is recommended to me... I'll probably read it.
Bachelor's in English with a minor in Education from Washburn University 2007
Masters in English emphasis in Rhetoric and Communication from Kansas State University 2009
Clubs and Activities