From the moment in junior high school when I mastered and made music with one of the more difficult etudes in the Rubank Intermediate Method for Trombone and Baritone, Bass Clef, I was hooked. In school music there were friendships to be shared, groups to belong to, accomplishments to achieve, methods of expression to be explored, and some of the most meaningful life lessons to be learned. Doing one's part well earned entree to this cornucopia of gifts. For me, it opened the door to confidence and decades of joy making music and appreciating beauty in people and things.
Teaching was something I entered into with some trepidation. It meant leaving personal performing behind and learning to do something new. It turned out that teaching wasn't something new at all - it flowed naturally from my love affair with music. At the time, there was no hint at the joy to be had sharing music, English, mathematics, and information technology with young people. To then see them enjoy their own confidence as they launched successfully into adulthood was a gift indeed!
As new opportunities presented themselves, I moved into information technology and shared those same life lessons with a much different and wider set of students and adults.
It is our challenge and our gift that all children learn. What they learn and how well they learn, in addition to what we teach and how well we teach, make all the difference.
Every child makes countless visits to the intersection of "I Can Learn" and "I Will Learn." It is a simple and powerful truth that the direction she takes depends on us. Parents, family, community, and ... us! We assume a breathtaking responsibility when we become a part of the team that shapes a child's life. What we teach and how well we teach depend on our teachers and our leaders. We owe every child a guaranteed and viable curriculum, delivered within the context of the Professional Learning Community. This makes all the difference.
1975 – Trombonist, 25th Infantry Division Band, HI
1978 – Married to Pamela Miller, Wauwatosa, WI
1978 – Bass trombone student, Oberlin Conservatory
1979 – Bass trombonist, State Symphony of Mexico
1986 – High school music director, Southern CA
1987 – Commissioned Officer, US Army Reserve
1997 – Cty. schools IT administrator, Santa Barbara, CA
1999 – IT administrator, Northwestern University, IL
2001 – IT director, Northwestern University, IL
2004 – Discovered Servant Leadership
2008 – IT senior director, Northwestern University, IL
2015 – Master's degree and licensure student, UMN
2016 – M.A., Education Policy and Leadership, UMN
2016 – Minnesota Principal Licensure, UMN
Life seems always able to surprise us with new directions for our lives. I remained in the classroom until a terrific challenge came from the Santa Barbara County Education Office. There, I was able to combine my classroom, information technology, administrative, team building, public relations, and cultural experience to create a program that taught youthful offenders how to repair computers and then get those computers into the hands of people who needed them.
Then came the call to Northwestern. I started there as a K-12 technology coordinator, became an IT director, and then a senior IT director and adjunct music theory professor before retiring early to join my wife in Minneapolis after years sharing a commuter marriage. During my years at Northwestern I learned about Servant Leadership and used Robert Greenleaf's principles to build and lead teams of professionals to remarkable success.