English Teacher Academic Decathlon Coach Aloha Kai Moderator Poetry Out Loud Coordinator At FSHA Since 2016
What do your students call you?
What made you want to work at FSHA?
When I first interviewed with FSHA, I was very impressed by the research program and wanted to be a part of that. In addition, during my tour of the campus, I was blown away by the progressive educational attitudes espoused by the school.
What has been your proudest professional accomplishment?
I was very proud after establishing the Poetry Out Loud competition last year. It took a lot of work and traumatized a few of my students, but seeing one of my students reciting her poetry at the county competition reminded me of why I went into teaching.
What has been your favorite teaching moment at FSHA?
Every day brings great moments, so it's hard to pick just one. In general, though, I love it when students develop the confidence to challenge the assumptions we bring into class. I've had some of my deepest held beliefs challenged by students, and that challenge helps me grow as both an educator and a person.
What most excites you about your work here on the Hill?
Recently, I've taken over Academic Decathlon. As an inherently competitive person, I look forward to encouraging my team of brilliant students to crush all opposition, leaving a trail of academic destruction in our wake.
What is FSHA's best kept secret?
I'll never tell.
What do you love about the all-girls environment at FSHA?
Working in an all-girls environment helps me feel like I'm making a difference in the struggle for equality in this country. It also gives me a preview of what I'm in for when my daughter becomes a teenager.
What's your favorite spot on campus?
Though I love teaching, everyone has some rough days. Nothing makes them better as quickly as walking down the hill by the Mary statue and looking out on the Angeles Mountains. The sun glaring in my eyes, my heart overwhelmed by the sublime, I tell myself, "Someday, I will stop being lazy and actually go out hiking."
When not in the classroom/office, where can you be found?
I frequently do work down at the dining room in the boarding hall. I love to be surrounded by food.
What's your favorite place in the world?
What a strange question. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to refer to memories (I proposed to my wife at the Aquarium of the Pacific, I was married in my parents back yard, I once ate an entire number 19 at Langers) or places I genuinely like (the top of Mount Baldy, Guinigi Tower in Lucca).
What are you surprisingly good at?
I can hacky sack. Or maybe more accurately, I could hacky sack in 1997. I also cook a pretty mean burger.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life?
I could give some pretentious English teacher answer about Umberto Eco or George Orwell, but let's get real: My wife, Katie, is by far the most important person in my life. She made me who I am and still puts up with me.
What book, movie, work of art, piece of music, etc. can you not imagine life without?
I'm an English teacher, so I'm not going to rattle off some pompous books that nobody else has ever read. When I was fifteen, I bought Sonic Youth's album "Daydream Nation." I still listen to it regularly. It's weird, because it's not my favorite album, but for over twenty years, its never really left my rotation.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is an all girls' Catholic, Dominican, independent, college-preparatory day and boarding high school in the hills of La Cañada Flintridge. Overlooking Pasadena, FSHA educates girls from Los Angeles, Southern California and around the world for a life of faith, integrity and truth.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
440 St. Katherine Drive La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011 High School Office: 626-685-8300 Admissions: 626-685-8521