I was born in rural Mid-Michigan. Farms surrounded our house on three sides. The local community even has cow races at
the area fairgrounds. My parents moved to Ithaca from Detroit a few years before I was born and don't regret it in the least.
The rural, small-town environment in which I was raised definitely shaped my ethics and morals; specifically, the value of
a good work ethic, integrity, and the pursuit of excellence.
Many quality role models have influenced me a great deal. When I was in high school, my father became the senior dentist
in the area. His self-scrutiny, sense of responsiblity, and devotion to his community has earned him honors both locally
and nationally as well as the love and respect of the community. My mother has shown her fortitude, perseverance, and devotion
to her family by taking ten years away from her career to raise her children. Her optimism and faith has pulled her through
disease, illness, and other obstacles. I hope to incorporate all of these values and characteristics in my teaching career
The importance of quality education has been passed through my family for many years. My grandmother was a school principal
and my aunt is a teacher. Both of my parents went through the education program at Alma College and my mother is a substitute
teacher. They credit much of their satisfaction and success to a sound education that emphasized values and ideals, not just
Like my parents, I chose to attend Alma College. Alma College's liberal arts environment was a great option for me. I
was able to experience many aspects of my content area (various ensembles: orchestra, jazz band, choir, percussion ensemble,
concert band, recitals, etc.) and other areas (student government, social dance, German, etc.). My best decision in college
was to study in Vienna, Austria for a term. This unique experience raised and expanded my humble, rural worldview to a global
view. My time in Austria transformed me into a strong-willed, open-minded, and confident man who has a goal to alert young
people to the possibilities and concerns of their communities and of the entire world.
Music has been in my life since third grade when I started taking violin lessons. Since then I have experienced as many
facets of music as possible by participating in orchestras, jazz bands, marching bands, concert bands, choirs, chamber groups,
and musical theater groups. I have found that music requires a dedication to excellence and it is this dedication to excellence
that is most important to my teaching.
I have considered teaching as a career for a long time, and it wasn't until halfway through my student teaching internship
that I realized teaching was for me. I genuinely have fun with my students and I sense they enjoy classtime as well. It
is an aspiration of mine to convince my students of the importance of excellence in their work, personal, and social lives,
I want to be a teacher and mentor that is admired by my students, colleagues, and community; a teacher who has integrity,
is caring, and is dedicated to excellence in everything he attempts.