I am in my 19th year teaching at Rosa Parks Charter High School. Before my life as a teacher I studied natural resource management at UW – Stevens Point with the hope of becoming a park ranger. During summers and after college I spent several years working with the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, as well as the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources.
During this time I was a “digger” and then a lead sawyer on a Hotshot Crew (wildland firefighter), a law enforcement and general park ranger. It was not until I started working as an interpretive ranger (aka a naturalist), that I found my true calling as an educator. During my time as a ranger/firefighter I was fortunate to live and work in many beautiful places……the redwoods of California, the Big Cypress Swamp of florida, the mountains and wide open spaces of Montana……and nearly every western state during my time as a firefighter.
These were all great experiences, but I realized at some point that I would have to pursue something else if I wanted a steady job and a place to call home. At that point I decided to go back to college to get another degree in life science teaching. Two years later I was out in my first teaching job in Hill City, MN. The next year I decided to move closer to my parents’ home and everything fell into place when I landed a job at ROC (now Rosa Parks!) in August of 1999.
I currently live in Rochester with my wife, Jodi, and my children Ayla and Gavin. My career and recreational passions regularly overlap and include photography, hiking, backpacking, fishing, hunting, climbing, kayaking, canoeing, biking, running, sprint triathlons, gardening, wild foods and traveling.