Principal / Teacher
I am a lifelong Chicagoan and have served in education since 1998. I began my career as an educator at Bowen High School as a US History, US Government, and Economics teacher, where I also moderated Student Government, service organizations, and the Handball Team. I was one of the founding members of Northside College Preparatory High School (we opened the school in 1999), where I taught AP US Government, AP US History, AP Microeconomics, Honors World Studies, coordinated the American Constitutional Law Program, was the head coach of the Varsity Golf and Varsity Wrestling Teams, and served as the Social Studies Department Chair. Since 2011, I have served as AP US Government Teacher and Principal at Walter Payton College Preparatory High School. I truly love the educational community we are building, replete with purpose and fun, for our students and faculty. My wonderful wife, Jen, and I have a terrific son, Brendan, who is the highlight of our lives. We are fortunate to have many family members in Chicago--parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews--that keep the journey of life thrilling. In addition to my roles in education, I remain an active woodworker, handball player, golfer, and reader. I also remain active in political and governmental affairs at a range of local, state, and national arenas.
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.