Art Teacher

I grew up in the same small Kentucky town where Abraham Lincoln’s parents lived called Springfield.  I first became interested in art after watching my grandmother sketch during church on Sundays.  I think she knew it would keep me quiet and still during the pastor’s sermons. After a childhood visit to an art museum I knew I would always love art.
I needed tuition for college after high school so I joined the Marines.  While there I was told that I would teach other Marines how to improve their marksmanship skills. Me?  I would have to stand in front of a class and speak?  I was extremely nervous.  However, I soon found that each week I had a new class of Marines eager to learn from me both in the classroom and out on the rifle range.  I began to enjoy helping people improve and speaking in front of a class became easier.  I would eventually receive the Marine Corps Meritorious Mast award for teaching.

I returned to Kentucky after the Marines and started taking art classes at the University of Louisville.  I also got married to my awesome wife who was actually born in North Carolina. We had an opportunity to move to North Carolina so I would eventually transfer to Pfeiffer University to complete my B.A. in Arts Administration. I then acquired my K-12 Graduate Certificate for Teaching Art at UNC Charlotte. My lifelong appreciation for museums led to my Masters in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

While in D.C. studying museums I walked to breakfast at the McDonalds near the White House.  Outside I noticed an elderly woman pushing a cart full of her belongings.  I walked inside to order and while waiting in line I saw her enter and sit down at a table.  Something told me to order breakfast for her so I did.  I took it to her and she was surprised but said thank you and asked me to join her.  As we talked I explained that I was a Hopkins grad student studying museums.  I also explained that I was completing my certification as an art teacher.  She looked at me and said that teaching is something that would impact the world more than any other career.  I enjoyed talking with her for a while and then I got up and wished her a good day. 

When I returned home I was hired to teach high school art a few weeks prior to actually finishing my teaching certification.  I started as a high school art teacher but I have taught middle school since 2011.  As the art teacher at WSMS my morning commute is only a fifteen minute drive in the country.  In 2015 I was voted Teacher of the Year and I feel blessed to teach art here with many other professional educators.  I love art and I think my students and staff members can see the passion that I have for teaching art.  I'm also glad that I met that elderly woman in D.C.  She was right about many things.  In 2016 I was voted the Fine Arts Educator of the Year for my county.

I also try to improve my personal art at home in my small studio. I have found that making art actually helps me teach art more effectively. The Hickory Museum of Art has exhibited my paintings and I exhibit my art online. I've also created art for a published children's book and was asked to paint a mural for the ABC show Extreme Makeover Home Edition in Charlotte. During the summer I enjoy painting and hiking the mountains with my camera. I also enjoy teaching individual or group adult workshops.

You can view my personal art here…My paintings