This post is part of an occasional series focusing on Leadership Development Academy graduates and what they have done, personally and professionally, in the years following their LDA experience. Please contact us if you would like to be profiled here, or would like to recommend a graduate for us to feature.
May of 2019 (it seems like yesterday)
What are you doing now?
I currently serve as the dean of students at Marshall Middle School.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I originally wanted to become a professional basketball player, but that changed when I found my true calling within the sport of wrestling.
Upon entering college, I set my sights on becoming a dentist. My plan changed several times, so my ultimate goal now is to become a building administrator.
How did LDA help you on your journey?
LDA significantly helped with my fear of speaking in front of large crowds. It also reinforced the power of working in groups to reach a common goal. Those mentioned skills are critical in my job’s everyday grind to ensure the students’ success in my building.
My all-time favorite song is “My Girl” by the Temptations. That genre of music will never go out of style.
What piece of advice would you give a new LDA participant?
Don’t be in a rush to get it done. Appreciate the good times and the rough times as your group works to complete a community project.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy having a good laugh with my wife and kids. Laughter is essential, especially now as we navigate through the uncharted waters of Covid-19.
Favorite Rock County event:
I enjoy attending the Doves and Diamonds annual event to raise money for Beloit Regional Hospice.
Where do you volunteer?
I have the privilege of serving as the African American Liaison Advisory Committee (AALAC) board chair and the vice-chair of the Janesville Multicultural Teacher Scholarship (JMTS).
If you could trade careers with any local person, who would you trade with and why?
I wouldn’t trade careers with anyone. I love what I do, primarily because of the opportunities to help students succeed in life.
When you reflect on your LDA experience, what is your fondest memory? Scariest memory?
The ropes course pushed me well out of my comfort zone. I’m deathly afraid of heights, and when I completed the ropes, I truly felt as if I achieved the impossible.
Future goal or dream:
My ultimate career goal is to become a school principal or assistant principal.
I don’t have any regrets necessarily. However, I am a Chicago Bears fan, and sometimes I wish they would have more success. Despite experiencing heartache year after year, I remain a fan.
Why have you stayed involved with LDA?
I appreciate what LDA did for my self-confidence and the connections made with fellow members of my graduating class and beyond.
“I will. I’ll adjust. I’ll find a way.”
This was a quote used by one of my college wrestling coaches. We will always run into some type of obstacle in reaching our goals. However, we have to adjust and find a way to succeed.
What was your LDA project? How did it impact your experience with LDA or in life?
My group captured the stories of Rock County veterans and recorded them within a documentary.
Before the project, I didn’t fully comprehend the significance of the ultimate sacrifice required to serve our country in the military’s various branches. Now my oldest son is currently a US Marine. He enlisted as my group was completing the project for LDA.
My project provided me with a new perspective on the military.
If you could choose a community project or need to help out with today, what would it be and why?
I would choose to complete a project on attacking generational poverty in our community. Unfortunately, I see the effects of generational poverty as an educator. We must unite as a community to ensure the well being of all residents.
Who do you look up to as a community leader/mentor?
I look up to former state Senator Tim Cullen. He does so much in the community to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to succeed.
Do you know of any new non-profits that might need community support now?
Beloit Regional Hospice. Due to COVID, they were unable to conduct any in-person fundraising activities this past year.