Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Education: Armstrong State University—B.A.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary—M.R.E.
Current Position: English Department Chair, Winter Play
Year Appointed: 2012
What's one thing your students might not know about you?
My first year teaching high school, my second period class called me Mr. Kotter and called themselves The Sweathogs! (Allusion to the tv show Welcome Back Kotter.) Like Mr. Kotter, I went back to teach in the high school from which I graduated, Savannah High School.
What’s your teaching passion? What motivates you? What do you do to stay current?
I absolutely love literature and my passion for logic and rhetoric grows with each passing year. I read a lot. Although re-reading books that I assign for my students takes up much of my reading time, I try to have at least one or two favorite authors whose works I read for pleasure.
What was your favorite book you read in school?
Actually, the Shakespearean plays were among my favorites - King Lear, especially. One work that I always remembered from the first time I read it was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. I also greatly enjoyed Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd.
I had a lot of good teachers. They certainly influenced my decision. I have to say, though, that the authors themselves influenced me to pursue the study of literature and ultimately teach it. I was fascinated by the ability of great writers to tell a good story that reflects so many realities in life.
When you're listening to music, who's playing?
Bob Dylan, the Beatles, anything Celtic.
If you didn't teach, what would you be doing instead?
Writing, being a tour guide, or working for a non-profit organization addressing social needs.
Do you have a particular North Cross memory that stands out? What's your favorite North Cross tradition?
Many of my favorites have to do with directing the Winter Play. When a student can’t decide how to deliver a line, I love to figure out a way for them to “act” the line in such a way that it works. So, I guess the Winter Play is my favorite tradtion. I have to admit that I am biased.
When your students move to the next grade, what is the most important lesson you want them to have learned?
I want them to have learned that literature is about life -- that it opens many windows for us to see into lives we will never actually live ourselves. And I want them to know that it does matter what they think! That is a good reason for them to learn to write well.