Husband, father, writer, teacher, public servant: I am many things.
In my personal life, I have been married to my wife, Milissa, since 1995. We have four children, though none will be children much longer. As I write this Alex will be a senior in high school, Bryan a sophomore, Katherine an 8th grader, and Anna a sixth grader. You can read all about their childhood adventures as superheroes in my book, Raceboy and Super Qwok Adventures. You can find more about it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Books, and Goodreads.
In my professional life, I have been a middle school language arts teacher since 2001 in Bradley, Illinois. I currently teach seventh-grade writing, a life decision that can be both wonderful, as when a student comes back to my class and thanks me years later for being his or her favorite teacher, or excruciating, as when I face the general apathy and disinterest that is the hallmark of being twelve and thirteen years old.
I spent a few semesters pursuing a Masters in Library Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign. I paused my pursuit of a second degree with an endorsement as a library information specialist.
I am also the Village President for the Village of Clifton, Illinois. I served as a Trustee from 2012, then took over as Village President after my predecessor resigned. I ran unopposed in 2016 and will serve through April 30, 2020. I have learned many things as a trustee and mayor, especially that teaching middle school writing is excellent preparation for public service. C. S. Lewis, in the final chapter of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, captured the spirit of leadership that I have endeavored to follow when he wrote, “These two Kings and two Queens governed Narnia well, and long and happy was their reign… And they made good laws and kept the peace and saved good trees from being unnecessarily cut down, and liberated young dwarfs and satyrs from being sent to school, and generally stopped busybodies and interferers and encouraged ordinary people who wanted to live and let live.” My agenda, inasmuch as I have an agenda, is simple: to stop busybodies and interferers, and encourage ordinary people who want to live and let live. I am not always successful, but I continue to try.
In this day and age, it may seem surprising the lack of social media integration on my site. Originally, I ignored Facebook as a fad. I could never fathom why anyone would want to follow my daily observations, and I never had the time to consume everyone else’s. Later, I rejected Facebook because it was a single ecosystem, and I hoped a developer would create a meta-social network that would allow interaction with all social networks from a single interface. By the time it because clear that no single meta social network interface was going to connect me to the many flavors of social network that existed, Facebook had become so ubiquitous and to be on Facebook so popular that my inner contrarian opposed Facebook as the domain of everyone who follows the crowd. Finally, I rationalized that avoiding Facebook allows me to avoid any unintended consequences of being a public person (both a teacher and a public official) as well as save the time that I would otherwise spend in updating and reading Facebook posts. I can live vicariously through my wife’s Facebook if I choose, and so dwell at the periphery of awareness of other people’s news, if news is the right word for content shared through social media. The closest thing I have to social media is a Goodreads account which I use to track the books I’ve read. I’ve thought about creating a LinkedIn account, but only because I keep hoping someone somewhere is going to recognize how valuable I am and offer me a dream job that pays double my current piddling salary (which is freely available online as it is paid for through tax dollars). If you want to offer me double, or even quadruple (heck, just go ahead and duodecuple) my current salary, use the Contact Andy form to send me an offer.