1. Name the key responsibilities in your current role
After 20 years as a middle level teacher, vice principal and principal, I now work as a teacher of teachers. I facilitate professional development for classroom and building leading educators on the services offered by Discovery Education. My focus has been on the Science Techbook and I am completing the organization’s certification on STEM education services.
2. Describe either your professional preparation, experience or achievements
I am a second career educator. After working for 10 years at the USPS, I became an classroom teacher in East Orange, NJ. I taught 7th and 8th grade Science & Remedial Math. I moved to Piscataway, NJ where I taught Social Studies grades 6-8, until completing my MA at Seton Hall University and becoming an Assistant Principal in 2002. In 2005, I was named the NJ Asst. Principal of the year by the state association – NJPSA. I completed my Ed.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and accepted my first principal position in 2012.
3. Describe the biggest challenge you’re currently facing in middle level education
The states still lump middle level education in the secondary education categories. This is in spite of the research that supports middle schools and middle schoolers are a unique group of people with distinct developmental, social and emotional needs. As the number of state and federal mandates continue to mount, teachers struggle with planning/creating instructional experiences for students that incorporate all of the requirements and still meet their students’ individual needs.
4. Share what you do for fun when not in school
I love to ride my bike. I am an avid cyclist and being on the road early in the morning is quieting and allows me to think and pray. My wife and I enjoy eating out and trying new restaurants and when I grow up I want to bake … cupcakes.
5. Tell us why you are a member of AMLE
From the moment I decided to become a teacher, I knew, based on my own very positive experiences in middle school, that I wanted to work in middle school. So much so, my wife calls me an 8th grade boy. What I discovered as I grew in my craft, I really didn’t know enough about the educational needs of this unique group of learners. My principal had received some information from “NMSA” and shared it with me. I began to connect with other middle level educators and this led to connecting with Jim Barnes and others in the New Jersey area.