I am an experienced high school social studies teacher, having now been in the classroom for twelve years. I have taught the breadth of the social studies canon, including World History, US History, Government, Economics and People and World Cultures. I have taught 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades, all the while implementing curriculum that is project-based, real world-connected, focused on choice, and facilitated by technology.
My first job in education was serving as the Assistant to the Principal of a charter high school in Boston, MA. It was there I earned an appreciation for the complexity of school leadership.
After deciding to become a teacher, I earned my Masters in Education at Stanford University, with a focus on the teaching of social studies. It was there I developed a teaching style based on improving students’ skills (as opposed to focusing only on content).
My first two years of teaching were in two different schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I was exposed to a wide variety of different cultures (Latino, Chinese, Afghan).
After moving back east to be closer to family, I settled in to teach for seven years at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine, a large comprehensive traditional public high school. It was at Thornton where I became a master teacher. My students won the state championship at the National History Day academic competition three different years, and several of my students went on to compete at the national level in Washington DC. I facilitated Project Citizen, which had my students advocating for public policy solutions to local problems in front of school administrators, city councilors, and state legislators. I developed the Go Global - Increase the Peace curriculum, which had my students communicating and collaborating with international pen pals around the world, and then presenting their learning to the local chapter of the World Affairs Council.
In addition to my teaching, I also wore many other hats while at Thornton. I served as a mentor teacher to multiple student teachers from local universities. I served as a committee chair during our school’s reaccreditation. I led many professional development workshops at a variety of conferences. I served a 120-hour internship with my Principal, towards earning my Building Administrator certification. I was elected to the state legislature to serve as state representative for my town.
After a wonderful professional experience at Thornton, my family moved west once again to be closer to my wife’s family. I now serve as the Social Studies Department Chair at Samueli Academy in Santa Ana, CA. While teaching at Samueli, I have also begun developing online lessons for Nearpod.com, and my lessons have been viewed over 20,000 times by teachers all over the world. And last year, my Go Global - Increase the Peace curriculum was given the 2015 “Award for Global Understanding” by the National Council for the Social Studies (the largest organization of social studies teachers in the country), which just may be the highlight of my whole teaching career.