Q. Tell us about your first impression of Cherokee and District 67?
A. Cherokee School has wonderful community and parent support. We have high caliber teachers and support staff who truly care about students. Most of all, we have amazing children!
Q. How do you partner with Dr. Shinn to lead both schools effectively?
A. Prior to the school year starting Dr. Shinn and I met several times to discuss each school's needs and determine how we would lead most effectively. When the school year started, we worked side-by-side, and we continue to
communicate and collaborate on a daily basis. One strategy that we implemented is to divide major responsibilities. For example, I lead our Department of Student Services teams at both schools; whereas Dr. Shinn is the lead administrator for APT. This helps our staff know who the 'go-to' administrator is for most issues. We also provide staff a weekly schedule of our locations, and each of us manages day-to-day building issues that arise in the school that we are at for the day.
It is important to me to learn everything that I can about each school. In order to do this, I made it a priority to develop relationships, listen, and learn! I have met so many people attending back to school picnics and socials, APT meetings, and special events like fine arts and sharing assemblies. Being present at lunch, recess, and the car drop-off/pick-up lines also helps me to get to know our families.
Q. What inspired you to pursue a career as an educator?
A. Children inspire me, and I sought a career where I can help and support kids. In my 16 years as an educator I have been fortunate to gain experience with every grade level, pre-school through high school. I am very excited to lead Cherokee and Sheridan! Foundational skills are established during the primary years, and I believe that it is during this time that educators can make the biggest difference building literacy and social-emotional development in our students. This is a dream job, and I am inspired every day by our outstanding staff and exceptional children!
Q. How do you spend your free time?
A. I love to spend time with my family. My wife, Donna, is also a teacher. We have two children. Thomas (7) is a 2nd grader and Emily (5) is a Kindergartener. We like to hike, bike, watch movies and cartoons, play games, and read together.