Business: Tri-Valley CUSD #3
Title: Tri-Valley High School principal
Education: Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural education, University of Illinois in 1997; Master of Science degree, ag education, U of I in 2001l advanced administrative certification Type 75 Illinois State University in 2003
Awards/Honors: State FFA President 1993-94; McLean County High School Teacher of the Year 2000; motivational keynote and workshop presenter to various organizations; principal of one of Chicago Sun Times top 50 High School in Illinois 2008; Illinois State Board of Education Academic Improvement Award 2008
Career highlights/accomplishments: As an educator at Tri-Valley High School, I was responsible for turning around an agriculture program with only 25 students in 1997 to a program with more than 165 students. The chapter ranked among the best in Illinois and the United States. I currently serve as the principal at Tri-Valley High which was recently named a Chicago Sun Times top 50 high school in Illinois. In addition, our school's composite ACT score was 23.5 in 2009, up from 22.4 in 2008, and well above the state standard of 20.8.
Still hope to accomplish:
I am lucky to be able to say that I love my job. I am fortunate to have chosen a career path that brings me personal satisfaction and makes me proud. I hope that in the future, I continue to learn and grow professionally as an educational leader. I hope to continue to get to be in a position to positively impact young people every day.
Vision for leadership: I believe that leadership or success is measured by the amount of positive impact you can have on those around you. I always tell students that if you want to be successful, put all of your energy into making good decisions and helping those around you succeed. The rest will take care of itself. Every leader that I respect seems to genuinely be interested in the success of others.
Biggest influence: I owe a lot to the McLean County agricultural community and to Tri-Valley. My Mom and Dad always modeled work ethic and a successful relationship. My wife is wonderful and unconditionally supportive of my work. Finally, I don't think students realize the impact that they have on their teachers. I can think of several students that have influenced me in a positive way. I know other educators feel the same way.
Leisure time/stress buster: I love spending time with my wife and kids. My daughter is 5, and my son is 2. I am completely fascinated and amazed by them every day. We spend a lot of time playing or watching sports. I also took up running a few years ago, my wife and I completed two half marathons together this year. Running has definitely helped with stress and has allowed me to eat a double helping of Schooners wings on occasion ... well, on several occasions.
First job: I grew up on a farm in north Normal so my Dad tried to have me help around the farm. I was never very good at anything he had me do. I still remember accidentally disking up Dan Kelly's planted corn when working ground for my Dad. There was a good song on the radio, and I wasn't paying attention when I crossed over into his field. I would like to take this time to again apologize to Mr. Kelly! Sorry Dan.
Last book I read: "Diggers: See How they Go!" because my son just can't get enough trucks, tractors and bulldozers.