Principal / Teacher
A native of Evanston, Illinois, with a B.A. in English from Kalamazoo College and an M.A. in English from Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English, I've been fortunate to have had a wide range of teaching experiences before landing at Payton. I began my teaching career in New Orleans, where I taught 9th-12th grade English at Marion Abramson Senior High School. I then spent two years at CICS Northtown Academy here in Chicago. After a brief tenure teaching in Parma, Michigan, while my wife pursued her master's degree in Ann Arbor, I began my career at Payton in the 2007-2008 school year. At Payton, I spent five years teaching survey of literature to freshmen and World Literature: Sacred Texts and Philosophy to seniors. In the summer 2012 I took on the new, exciting and challenging work as one of Payton's assistant principals. Outside of my busy day at Payton, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our three beautiful children, biking to work, playing basketball, reading, and cooking.
Director of Student Engagement
As the Director of Student Engagement, I help students lead engaged lives within self, school, and society by developing systems of support to ensure our students thrive academically, culturally, and social emotionally. I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Dayton. I went on to earn a doctoral degree in Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an emphasis in Health Communication in 2010. A post-doctoral fellowship in Health Services Research brought me to Chicago. My passion for developing students from the inside-out, keeps me here. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to do this work at Payton College Prep! I formerly was the Director of Admissions, Community Engagement, and External Partnerships at Brooks College Preparatory Academy from 2012-2015. When I'm not at school, I enjoy spending time with my friends, cooking, and dreaming of new ways that emotional intelligence can change the world!
I was born and raised in Chicago, and prior to joining the team at Payton, I spent seven years as an educator at Lane Tech College Prep. My educational background includes a B.A. in English, a B.S. in Secondary Education, and certification in Teaching English as a Second Language. I have a M.A. in School Counseling, and I am currently pursuing my Ed.D. in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership. While at Lane, I helped start and lead the AP Capstone program, a series of innovative and student-centered research and writing courses, that received national recognition. I also had the pleasure of coaching girls basketball during my tenure there. I am passionate about teaching, learning, and serving our students, families, faculty, and greater community.
Phone: 773.534.0034 Ext. 24995
Phone: 773.534.0034 Ext. 24980
I serve as the school scheduler at Payton and also teach 2 sections of AP Photography. I have a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Illinois at Chicago. I earned a Liberal Arts Degree with Distinction in Photography and Cinema from Ohio State University. Following a brief career as a freelance fashion/portrait photographer, I went on to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and then a Master's degree in Art Education from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I was honored to be a Golden Apple Finalist while teaching at Bell Elementary prior to being chosen as a member of Payton's founding faculty. Student art projects I initiated have been featured on WTTW's Art Beat Chicago, highlighted in The Chicago Tribune, and included in several professional journals and texts. I have taught education research and methods courses at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, National-Louis University, Northeastern Illinois University, and most recently at DePaul University.