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