The SHORT Version
Born in Meadville PA
Raised in Talent OR
Phoenix HS 1986;
Wesleyan U 1990;
Southern Oregon U 1991
HS Theater Teacher
Former Soccer Coach / Referee
The LONG version...
yes - my employment autobiography is
adapted from this...
Born in western Pennsylvania, I relocated
as a toddler when my family decided Oregon was the place to raise me. Growing up in rural
County, I attended the Phoenix/Talent
schools. We lived on Anderson Creek, raising our food, cutting our
firewood -- living in a 20th century homestead. I was active in school
sponsored extra-curriculars - soccer, band, choir, etc... After high
school, the rest of the country beckoned (It's difficult to
understand how special Southern Oregon is unless you go somewhere else for a
time), so I headed across the continent to Wesleyan
University and started the next chapter.
Though far from a standout college student, I made certain I availed myself of
the wide range of outstanding course
offerings from one of the nation's finest small universities. I emerged with a
theater degree, and not seeing it to be of
immediate great use, and knowing where I wanted to call home, I enrolled in Southern
Oregon University's 5th year education program, re-focusing on social
sciences. I completed student teaching at Phoenix and
Ashland High schools en route to my certification. It was also during this time
that I met my first wife, Nancy.
My first full time position
was at CrossRoads, an alternative high school (now part of Community
Works) serving high-risk youth from most of the schools in the Rogue Valley.
Life throws curve balls, though, and a job offer in Massachusetts, a cross-country move, the subsequent
collapse of that new employer, another cross-country move, and I found
myself back in Oregon, coaching soccer,
and (after a one year stint at Phoenix High) again
teaching at CrossRoads. Nancy and I bought a home, but went our separate ways
2004 saw the next wave of shifts - I
filed for elective office and during the midst of the primary it seemed I was
witnessing the demise of another job. The summer was a throwback to summer jobs
from 1986 and 1990, 91 at the Britt Festival. I didn't win (no sad faces, it works
out in the end), but the 2004/05 school year was the last for me at CrossRoads.
A theater job opened at North Medford High School and I took it... that forced a transition
away from the soccer gig at Phoenix, but maybe it was time. I am now settled in to a revitalized
Black Tornado Theater and enjoying nearly every minute of it.
Where did I get my
I was born in 1968 - a tough
year for America and the world, particularly in political history, regardless of
one's political leanings - Tet in
February, Prague Spring, Memphis in April, the Ambassador Hotel in June, Mayor
Daley's Convention in August, Nixon's election in November - In many ways, the
lone 'bright spot' didn't come until December 24, when Borman, Lovell, and
Anders achieved lunar orbit in Apollo 8. As I grew up, I became very aware of
the legacy of that year.
My first political memory is being called to the TV to watch Nixon resign. One of my earliest reading
materials was an anthology of Doonesbury strips. My parents both
possess a penchant for activism and social concern and those traits passed on
I lived (paid taxes in, voted in while at
college) in Southern Oregon
for 33 of my 36 years. I watched schools fall into the safety net in the 80s,
then again in the 90s as cuts reduced & removed lunch programs, sports,
buses, and custodial services from local schools - from MY schools. I watched
Measure 5 pull local control from not only education funding priorities, but
from local decisions about public safety and public works. I watched as Measure 11 compelled a
share of the revenue pie to be dedicated to state Corrections while no provisions were
made to either make the pie bigger or to protect the slices that served youth, the
disadvantaged, and the citizens who went about their daily lives without
breaking laws and ending up in jail.
I can no longer watch as our state government
hemorrhages funds and credibility with record duration sessions and special
sessions, a skewed revenue system, flawed kicker provisions, ridiculously framed
questions to the electorate
I can no longer watch as the public, increasingly
frustrated, attempts to cure the symptoms with initiatives which have
either been poorly crafted or dishonestly presented to them, making things even
worse as the actual problems go untreated.