I am very excited to be teaching at the Honors Academy of Literature this year! Before I go further into my excitement, let me tell you a little about myself.
I was born in Maryland and have spent the majority of my youth in the Washington, D.C. area. If anyone asks, this is where I claim home to be. As a student growing up in this area, I developed a fascination with history. At first, because we were constantly bombarded with it from our teachers, but later the history of the area began to take on a life of its own and I wanted to share this with everyone. I didn't know it then, but this became the seed that led to me being a teacher.
After High School, I attended college at Brigham Young University - Idaho. It was here that I switched from wanting to be an architect to making teaching my passion and calling. I began my journey as a history major and while I was taking a few geography classes, I found I had an even greater desire to learn the history of the Earth itself. A geology class here and a meteorology class there, I found my true passion as an Earth Science teacher. More importantly, I wanted to focus on the geography and geology of the Middle East. So, I spent a few years learning to read, write, and speak Arabic so that I could achieve that dream. Alas, it has not come to pass. However, teaching was my main focus and I have taught Science and Social Studies for the last five years here in Nevada.
I took a couple years to teach the wonderful citizens of New Jersey, where to my astonishment, my skill with Arabic came into use. I still have many friendships there that have lasted to this day. When I returned to Idaho to earn my B.S. in History and Earth Science Education, I met the lady who would become my wife. A very cunning instructor told the class to choose partners for group work by not looking to your left and looking to your right and saying, "hey, do you want to form a group?" So, that's what we did and that is how I met Misti. She pursued me to Maryland during my off semesters and I pursued her to Las Vegas so we could student teach together. We went on a trip to meet her parents in Fernley, NV and a few weeks later we were engaged. We were married in Reno, NV and I have lived in Fernley ever since. Though we have no children of our own yet, we do have two fur babies that demand our attention.
As a teacher, I have built and implemented science curriculum aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards. I spent the summer of 2014 in Tucson, AZ where I assisted in conducting research on aerosol contamination. Trust me, that is way more interesting than it sounds. While I was in Tucson, I also designed a Native American Science Program centered on the indigenous Paiute (Northern Paiute) traditions and language. The most challenging part of that experience was teaching a lesson speaking entirely in the Paiute language. I implemented the program at the last school I taught at, and it was quite successful. I have also coached Academic Olympics teams in Middle and High School.
I am now ecstatic that I can use my skills at the Honors Academy of Literature to teach with a focus on Literacy and Math. I look forward to working with all the scholars and making the 2015-2016 school year the best year yet!