Social Studies Department Chair
Mr. Weiss began teaching at Payton in 2008, and has since taught AP World History, World Studies, U.S. History, Global Issues, and American Studies. Before Payton he taught at Paul Robeson High School for three years and at an American school in Hong Kong for two years. He studied history and education at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and earned his M.A.T. in History from the University of Illinois at Chicago while teaching at Payton. Two of his professional highlights were attending the Aspen Ideas Festival as a Bezos Scholar in 2012 and being selected as the Chicago area History Fair teacher of the year. In 2017 he was honored to be named the Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year in Illinois. When he's not teaching, Mr. Weiss enjoys running, gardening, watching T.V., cooking, reading, following politics, travelling, and playing with his daughter.
If your WPCP upperclassman (or woman), has recently questioned your parenting style, they are probably are taking my psychology class. I received my BA from The University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and my M.Ed. from DePaul University. I bring over 14 years of teaching experience to the classroom and have been a member of the WPCP Social Science Department for 6 years. I have taught a variety of history classes during my educational career and currently teach AP and Honors Psychology. I am responsible for developing and implementing the psychology program at Payton and am very proud to bring this fascinating course to our Payton students. In my spare time, I love to travel to ancient ruins, explore new cultures, scuba dive, and most importantly spend time with my family.
This is my eleventh year as a CPS teacher and fifth year teaching at Payton. My educational background includes a BA in History from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a MA in Secondary Education from Roosevelt University. Prior to working at Payton I served as Department Chair at both Dyett High School (2007-2009) and George Westinghouse College Prep (2009-2012). In addition to department chair duties I was a member of the Instructional Leadership Team at both schools. Before becoming a teacher I worked as a professional musician teaching private bass and guitar lessons in addition to performing. My hobbies include playing music, traveling, hiking, camping, reading anything related to the social sciences, cooking, and spending time with my wife Andrea. I am eager to share these passions with the Payton community.
I am proud to be one of Payton's founding members. As a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, I started my teaching career in 1995. I have a great love for travel and incorporate my extensive travels into my teaching. Outside of the classroom I like to involve my students in the political process. My students have had the opportunity to participate in the presidential inauguration, Iowa Caucuses, New Hampshire Primary, as well as serve locally on political campaigns and as election judges.
I joined Payton in 2014 after a number of years' experience in other academic and professional pursuits. Although I grew up in the Chicago area, I've had the pleasure of studying and working in exotic locations such as Belgium, India, Hungary, and Indiana. After studying economics in college, I worked for Arthur Andersen and, later, Deloitte and Touche, in global tax and human resources consulting. I enjoyed the work and my colleagues, but I wanted a life more focused on teaching and learning. Thus, since 2010 I've been a full-time social studies teacher. In the past, I've taught such subjects as U.S. history (AP, honors, and regular), U.S. Government, World Studies, and English as a foreign language. This year, I'm teaching AP Microeconomics and AP Human Geography. When I'm not in the classroom or preparing for it, I'm usually playing with my young son Lars or infant daughter Nell, hanging out with my husband Mr. Currie (also a teacher), enjoying Chicago neighborhoods on foot or by bike, visiting my awesome grandma, exercising, cooking up a storm, improving our little bungalow, or planning a trip.
I grew up in Wheeling, IL (35 minutes northwest of the city). Upon graduating from Wheeling High School, I attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. After switching majors several times (chemistry and math), I finally realized that my true interests were in the social sciences. I graduated with a major in History and a minor in Secondary Education. In addition to my BA in history, I also received an MA in Reading Education from Concordia University. I was fortunate to find a job out of college at Rickover Naval Academy, a small CPS high school on the north side of the city (inside Senn High School). While there, I taught numerous classes including World Studies, Early American History, Contemporary American History, AP United States History (APUSH), Sociology, Government, and Consumer Economics. During my tenure at Rickover, I also coached soccer and basketball, led trips to Italy and Greece, and served as the Social Science Department Chair. After six years at RNA, I decided to make a career move and join the Social Science department at Walter Payton College Prep. I'm excited to start my sixth year at WPCP where I will be teaching Advanced Placement United States History and Honors Sociology. In addition, this will be my third 5th year serving as the coach/teacher sponsor of the award winning debate team.
I am excited to join the Payton Community this year. I am originally from Rocky Point, North Carolina; a rural town in the southeastern portion of the state. I attended Davidson college in North Carolina and earned a BA in history (our claim to fame is 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry). After graduating from Davidson, I moved to Chicago and worked for a college access Americorp Program. During my time serving I developed a passion for helping prepare students for college and wanted to work with more students. As a result, I decided to pursue a Master's Degree in Education at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (Go Blue!). After graduation, I moved back to Chicago and taught Africana Studies at a small charter school in the Auburn Gresham community prior to Payton. In my spare time I love to read, watch tv and movies, play video games, as well as explore Chicago's phenomenal food scene.