Cedarville University (OH)
Tell us about your family.
I am married to my wife -- a lovely Spanish teacher -- and I love that I get to teach in a room next to hers and that I was able to teach our three older children: Julia, a sophomore at UF, Paige & Caleb, seniors at SRCS, and I look forward to teaching our youngest, Seth, a 4th grader.
What were you like as a child?
I was somewhat tall, skinny, and painfully shy. I probably lived more oft in a pretend world than the real -- which is why I probably drift towards fiction, Spiritual things, and need to keep one foot in the natural world through science.
What's a favorite childhood memory?
More like years as opposed to a specific memory, but riding my bike to the local ponds and creeks to gather all kinds of living things did wonders to my appreciating God's creation -- both living and nonliving.
Why did you become a teacher?
I had no intention to become a teacher after graduating from college. I actually intended to do my best to avoid people -- I tossed around botanical research in remote lands, then switched to pediatrics once I realized God's intent for the church to (interact with and) love people. I eventually split my hopes between seminary and a musical career with a budding band -- when I returned home to find a pork processing plant was the quickest way to pay the bills and save up for my engagement to my now, lovely wife. (Did that come out wrong? She was lovely then, too.) As my lab position was downsized and my biology-degreed future relinquished to stacking boxes in a freezer, extended family tragedy coupled with generous amounts of God's grace saw me interviewed in a small school in New Jersey -- where I took the job as a bio, chem, philosophy, calculus, health, and physics teacher in a, you guessed it, small Christian school.
Who was an influential teacher for you, and why?
I actually had two teachers that influenced me greatly. The first: Mr. Derstine, my chorale teacher, who was the only instructor I ever saw break a meter-stick out of frustration (so he was known for running a tight ship). He valued precision and discipline, but also treasured mature improvisation -- a stair-step of values, you could say, but one that he was unafraid to nurture. The other: Mr. Bishop, my English teacher who was keen at noticing potential (or at least passion!) and encouraging the use of those gifts within the classroom.
What is your favorite course to teach, and why?
Ooh...that's a conundrum. It's a toss-up between Physical Science and Acts & Systematics for the same reasons: both classes demand students to think within a logical framework outside the box. They also share the didactic joy of watching students confront and question their preconceived notions and reconstruct a true and biblical view of God, themselves, and the world.
What do you love about SRCS?
It is what I call "freedom within boundaries." The administration loves its faculty and students well by giving us a clear mission and vision and trusting us to accomplish academic goals guided by the Gospel and flowing from our God-given responsibility of professionalism and love for His Truth and our students.