Music teacher at Sandstone Middle School
When and why did you move to Hermiston?
I moved to Hermiston in the summer of 2015 to take over the music teacher position at Sandstone Middle School.
What is your favorite place to eat in Hermiston?
Walker’s Farm Kitchen. Ruty’s or Quizno’s are my go-to places for food on the go.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I do a lot of woodworking and I also like to get out on my sailboat when the weather is nice.
What surprises you about Hermiston?
This community has a strong commitment to excellence. We have been state football champions, dance champions, the storied wrestling program... this is a hard-working town.
What was the last book you read?
”The Culture Code” by Daniel Coyle — a must-read for anyone in a leadership position! I reread it every summer to help me brainstorm ideas for the upcoming school year.
What website or app do you use most other than Facebook?
I have a flip phone, so I don’t use apps. I do use music/video streaming computer programs like YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, etc. frequently.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
When it comes to travel, I think the company matters more than the location. With that said, I would love to go to space! I am also a huge Mariners fan and I love traveling to see my beloved M’s on the road. It is a great way to see the country. It is a goal of mine to make it to all thirty big league ballparks.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you?
I teach middle school — every day there is a new “funniest thing”!
What is one of your goals for the next 12 months?
I don’t really care so much about “winning” the older I get, but it would be a lie to say that the kids and I aren’t hungry to collect a few more accolades this year. Ultimately, though, I want my students to understand their potential and realize that they are in complete control of how well they accomplish any task, whether it be musically related or not. Excellence is a choice. I also want to grow the music program at Sandstone. We are close to 400 students enrolled in music ensembles. It would be really cool to hit that 400-mark!
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Professionally the best thing is when a student with a previously questionable work ethic catches the bug and really starts to dig in and see how hard work leads to sweet rewards. Last March we placed first in a competition consisting of 32 middle school bands in the Columbia Basin. We also had two students place first in woodwind solo and brass solo, respectively, at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival last year. That festival involves thousands of students from all over the United States and Canada. My students give me a lot to be proud of.
My proudest personal accomplishment is how well I have developed the art of practicing. I have really gotten good at the art of reflecting, developing efficient drills/exercises, and improving at any task very quickly.