What an amazing year so far on so many levels!
-Falling in love with an amazing, kind, beautiful, generous, funny, smart, strong woman!
-Getting to coach the hardest working football players as part of an amazing coaching staff.
-A completely renovated weight room.
-A brand new turf football field.
-Teaching a full slate of classes in my favorite subject, Biology, to an amazing group of students! It was hard to give up my baby, Forensic Science, but this is an opportunity I can't pass up.
-Serving a second year as Dean of Applied Sciences at St. John Vianney where I work with some of the most talented, passionate educators in the state.
-Our school earned "National School of Excellence" status from the Cardinal Newman Society.
-Generous donors pledged $1 million to kick off our school's STEM initiative, which will result in curriculum and facility upgrades. Our labs will be among the best in the country.
As a result of my Google Educator/Qualified Individual status, I decided to apply for acceptance to the Google Teacher Academy (GTA) in Austin, Texas, which is an amazing 2 day, professional development opportunity presented by Google. Only 50 educators are selected for each GTA. 2 days with 50 talented educators, learning how to innovate in the classroom from one of the most innovative companies?!?!? Count me in! As you can imagine, the odds are stacked against me. Often, an applicant must apply multiple times before being accepted. While I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I realize that the competition is tough. The 3 other guys from my school that are applying are tough enough competition!
The application requires 2, 800 character essays as well as a 1 minute video. Here are my responses and the video. My kids were awesome in helping me make the video.
Tell us about how you've navigated ambiguity or hardship. *
- When facing hardship, controlling emotions & effort allows me to find opportunities for growth & change in the midst of difficulty. No hardship has been more difficult than coaching a team after the death of a senior captain. During our first season, Rahmel McNeil & I developed a very close bond. His murder was devastating. Balancing my grief with helping our young men deal with a tragic loss was incredibly hard. During the weeks following his murder, football took a backseat to “Manhood 101.” By controlling my emotions, focusing on what I could control, and presenting a positive attitude, I could deal with my personal grief as well as help my players find opportunities for growth. I am very proud to say that 7 of the 26 players from that team attended college on football scholarships.
- I can make a larger, more positive impact in the lives of my students, co-workers, & community through participation in the Google Teacher Academy! As an educator, I am passionate about sharing my love of learning. Collaborating with other inspired educators will help develop my skills so I can create learning experiences that challenge & develop my students. As the chair of a multidisciplinary professional learning community at school, I will be able to share the strategies I learn with our faculty. The impact of my participation in the Google Teacher Academy will extend outside of our school as well. I am one of five teachers at Vianney who provides professional development seminars to area educators. Participating in the Google Teacher Academy will allow me to share & grow my passion!