I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden
When I was in high school (here comes one of those "back in the day" stories) I was given a career placement test. Like so many of my fellow classmates, I couldn't care less what the test told me about my qualifications. So I simply ignored the results when they informed me that I had the attributes that would make up a good teacher.
Teacher? Me? Forget that! I was starting to focus myself on a career in computer engineering. It was 1982, and I was speculating that there was going to be a future in computers.
So upon graduation I entered my local college's engineering program and failed miserably. I mean, I failed catastrophically! Engineering school was a bloodbath of calculus that simply crushed my soul. It turned out that even though I wanted to be an engineer, I simply hadn't prepared myself academically.
The next fifteen years of my life would be spent in the business of retail. Despite only making it to my sophomore year in college, I was gung-ho on the idea of being a business person. I took on a number of sales and management positions, rising and falling in eyes of the bosses, but ultimately realizing that I was somewhat too soft for the callous nature of business world.
Eventually I saw the light. After volunteering with a number of youth organizations and working with young people, I found that old career assessment to have had merit after all. I did posses the traits of a good teacher. I decided that I needed to get back into college and pursue a degree in education. Although most of my classes were focused on English, I made it a point to take Calculus again. This time, it was a breeze - I had learned a bit more about juggling numbers and equations during my business years.
I landed a job at Louisville Central High School the year after I attained my Masters degree, and I've been here ever since. This school has a heart to it that I haven't found anywhere else. My students are wonderful, my colleagues are brilliant, and my administration is always supportive of my endeavors. My career here has been filled with joy and laughter, something that was absent in my previous jobs.
One afternoon I received an email from a fellow teacher suggesting that I meet someone on a blind date. Reluctantly I accepted the invitation, thinking the whole time that the event would prove unfruitful. Instead, I met the most wonderful woman who would later become my wife and the mother of my two gorgeous daughters. My family has reaffirmed my belief in the Lord. I have been blessed in more ways than I can possibly count.
Although I taught English for twenty years, I stumbled across another subject five years ago that has become my passion. My school was given a competitive robotics kit in 2015, and the principal asked me, former engineering students and one of the biggest tech geeks in his building, to take on the project and form a team. I gathered a handful of kids who were spending extended time after school waiting for their parents to pick them up. We found a round wooden table in the basement of the school, moved it up to my room, and built the school's first robot. After winning a couple competitions, we would take that same creation to the VEX Kentucky State Championship. No one was more surprised than me, yet I sensed that this little robot was the start of something. I went back to college to get certified to teach technical education, and now I co-teach the Central High School Cyber Engineering program, to which this website is dedicated.
Earlier in my life, I would not have imagined staying on the same jobsite for twenty-one years, but I've entered the same door to this building 3,927 times, and over 3000 students have graced my classroom. I really don't see me leaving this beloved school. Why would I? It is only the best job in the world.
So there you go. . .