I am a proud 1980 graduate of Huntsville High School. Following high school, I headed to Fayetteville and spent a year exploring the beautiful University of Arkansas campus and the picturesque locales of Dickson Street. By the second year, the Office of Academic Affairs introduced me to their classrooms and four years later, I was a graduate with a bachelors degree in Social Science.
Following 9/11, I went back to school at Arkansas Tech and earned my bachelors in Emergency Administration Management in 2004 with a thought in mind of perhaps switching careers. That notion passed and I soon began a pursuit of a higher degree.
In 2007, I earned a masters degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment while contemplating a switch to the darkside of education by becoming an Administrator. Toward that end, I began work on my doctorate, getting 30 hours in on the program before taking over EAST and coaching both the boys and girls soccer teams ended that pursuit.
And so here I am….
My father, a 1958 Huntsville graduate, began teaching and coaching at Huntsville High School the year I was born in 1961 and my mother joined him there in 1965. I have been here ever since starting my own career as an educator in 1985. I have been blessed to teach a wide range of subjects during my 35 year career and currently have the best job in the Huntsville School District. I am the EAST Facilitator, the Head Soccer Coach, the Emergency Preparedness instructor, the Student Council Advisor and entering my 7th year of T-Drop working with people I like and a principal I enjoy, life is good.
I am proud of my academic achievements but I believe my experiences outside of the classroom have enabled me to develop a more rounded view of the importance of not only a college education but also the equally important nature of CTE paths. Outside of teaching, I had the experience of owning a Mexican restaurant and helping manage a night club. Making payroll and attempting to take care of your employees while providing for your family is a challenging experience that gives you an appreciation for entrepreneurs and their drive to make something out of nothing.
As a young man, I worked hard in the hayfields hauling square bales and stacking them in a range of structures in a variety of conditions. I was also a peon carrying sheet rock on construction sites and stumbled into pouring concrete one summer. I mowed the cemetery for awhile until the brother of my friend accidentally set my lawnmower on fire. It all sucked. Long hours for little pay but it helped.
Without a doubt, the biggest influence on my view of life has been my time as a firefighter on the Huntsville Fire Department. It is impossible to explain the effect it has being a teacher to wonderful students during the day and then picking up their lifeless bodies as a firefighter at night. It changes you. It makes you realize just how important every decision is and how fragile life can be. My time as an educator at HHS is coming to a close soon but for as long as I am blessed with being here, it is my job to give every student in my realm the very best I can to help them be successful in whatever field they wish to pursue.
I am a lucky man. Blessed really. There is no clearer example of that than my family. I was raised by incredible parents and after a couple false starts married my life partner Angie. Beautiful, smart and strong, for over 20 years, she has followed me around all over the country from one training to the next, cleaned and dressed my wounds from one thing after another and has been the rock of our family raising three awesome children and helping to raise two amazing grandchildren all the while taking care of our parents and anyone else who stumbles into our little family.
Our oldest daughter, Nikki, teaches with me in the Huntsville School District and raises my oldest granddaughter Kendyl. Our son, Adam, works for the City of Springdale and serves with me on the Huntsville Fire Department. Our youngest daughter, Kristyn, is a Nurse Practitioner, serves with me on the Huntsville Fire Department as a Lieutenant and raises my youngest granddaughter Kynadee. As much as Angie and I love our kids,we adore Kendyl and Kynadee. Smart as a whip, beautiful and athletic, we look forward to watching them blossom into becoming the same kind of people as their mothers and their uncle who do so much to make this a better world.
My primary hobby is pestering my wife. It is also the number one reason she will not allow me to retire and hang around the house.
My jobs as the EAST Facilitator, Emergency Preparedness Instructor, Student Council Advisor and Head Soccer Coach consumes an enormous amount of my time. Factor in my responsibility as the Fire Chief for the City of Huntsville and the time I get to spend with my family, I don’t have much free time. But when I do have time, I spend it reading about the world around me and writing. It is my dream that once I am able to retire, I will still have enough of my mental capacity left to finish my great novels. Until then, I will relish my time with my wife and family and work hard every day to make my little corner of the world a better place for those I can.