Principal / Bilingual Director
JW Eater Junior High School
1. Name the key responsibilities in your current role
My job is to energize students, teachers, staff, and families to be awesome when it comes to educating young adolescents!
2. Describe either your professional preparation, experience or achievements
I've graduated three times from the University of Illinois with all of my degrees in education or educational leadership. I taught middle grades and high school, and I've just completed my fourteenth year as a middle grades school leader. This year I will be in a new middle grades school as principal as well as serving as the bilingual director for the district.
3. Describe the biggest challenge you're currently facing in middle level education
For our students, the biggest challenge is meeting the vast and complicated needs of young adolescents. This includes working with a huge range of academic performance while being very mindful of social emotional needs. A particular challenge is how to address trauma in the life of our students and families. For middle grades in general, the biggest challenge is balancing what we know is best for middle grades students with state and federal policy mandates.
4. Share what you do for fun when not in school
I enjoy reading U.S. history, taking care of my almost 150-year-old house, being with my wife and kids, and sitting in the backyard listening to the birds.
5. Tell us why you are a member of AMLE
AMLE is the only "go to" voice for middle grades folks. Whether a teacher, school leader, researcher, or policy person, AMLE provides a place for those of us who love working with young adolescents to meet, share, learn and grow. Being a member is also the easiest way to access the publications that I enjoy reading regularly, as they tend to inspire me and recharge my middle-grades-batteries.