Director of Career and Technical Education, Rockford Public Schools
Alignment Rockford Operating Board Member
Alignment Rockford Academy Expo Team
Alignment Rockford Pathways Team
Bio and Professional Experience
I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts (go Red Sox!) and moved to Rockford in 1990 where I attended Auburn High School. I am a graduate of the Illinois State Police Academy, Rock Valley College, and Northern Illinois University. Currently my wife Holland and I live in beautiful downtown Rockford. I have spent the last six years teaching or acting as an Academic Achievement Specialist at Guilford High School. During my time there I was fortunate enough to be the HPS Academy Team Leader for two years.
What has surprised you most about your new role within the College and Career Readiness Department?
The immediate outpouring of support for our program from all stakeholders. Everyone I talk to wants to see our programs expand and flourish to offer the most opportunities to our students. I’m also amazed at the countless hours our community members put in every week just to ensure that every student has a true chance at success.
How have your experiences in the classroom leant themselves to your new role?
One of the greatest challenges of the classroom is trying to squeeze in all of the lessons, information, and learning that you want for your students in such a limited time. Part of that challenge lies in being truly passionate about what you are teaching. When you are passionate about something it can become infectious and spread to your students wanting to seek further learning on their own. The same is true of my current position. I feel that if I can spread my passion it will increase our footprint in the community and allow us to continue to grow.
How do you see the community fitting into the goal of raising student achievement and college and career readiness?
The community is the backbone of the process. When we seek to raise student achievement we are not only doing so to ensure that our students are successful but that our community thrives as well. Not to be clichéd but it truly does take a village!
What are some key objectives/initiatives that we might see coming from your work within the College and Career Readiness Department this school year?
My goals include increasing the number of volunteer opportunities afforded to our students. Those can be so critical for resume builders and college applications. I want to see more opportunities for our students to receive industry certifications, dual credit, or articulated credit in their courses. All of these things bring more learning and substance to the classroom. And finally, I have long-term goal of being able to offer our Junior year students some type of career fair to allow them to see what is out there, sharpen their soft skills, and perhaps open door to a job or career.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am just proud to be a part of a community of educators, families, and community partners that are constantly pushing what opportunities are available for students. Frankly, it’s amazing and inspiring to see the passion so many people put forward so selflessly.