I came to NCHS in 1995 as the JV basketball coach while I was teaching at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, NY (my hometown). In 1996, I started as an English and Social Studies teacher here, and in 2001 I began teaching Journalism and serving as adviser to the Courant. Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked in public relations and marketing for five years.
Outside of the English geekery I love – reading, writing creative non-fiction and poetry – I spend most of my time around my kids and sports. Over the last 25 years, I’ve coached youth or high school basketball for 22, taking a hiatus to become a USA Swimming official when my daughters betrayed me and became swimmers. These days, when I’m not in school, I’ll be poolside at my older daughter’s high school swim meets, in the stands at my daughters’ soccer and lacrosse games, and in noisy gyms at my younger daughter’s basketball games. When I’m not with them, the basketball coaching staff at NCHS lets me hang around the team.
My time away from education – the five years between college graduation (BA in Politics from Fairfield U.) and my first teaching gig – were essential to developing a sense of what is “important” in a high school student’s education. My experience as a parent has given me a lot of insight into what happens when teenagers leave their role as students and re-assume their roles as son or daughter, brother or sister, athlete or performer or employee. As a result, I’ve learned to value the time students have to give to their work, and to think very carefully about the kind (and amount) of work I ask them to do.