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 Jackson 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 soon after. 

        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 World View?

        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 to me.

       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 significantly larger 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.   

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