Dear Shubelopolis Families,
Hello and welcome to Shubelopolis! I am very excited to start another year at Hiawatha in 4th grade! This is the start of my 17th year in Okemos, having spent my first year here at Hiawatha, three at Cornell, two at Kinawa…all in 5th grade, and then back here for 4th. I am looking forward to my continued partnership with Mr. Clements, Mrs. Coontz, and Mrs. Parsons, as well as welcoming our MSU intern Ms. Maliah Riley, but MOST of all being your son or daughter's teacher this year!
A little bit about my educational background…I am a graduate of Michigan State University Class of '97 with a BA in Elementary Education as well as a 2004 graduate with an MA in Educational Technology. I am a huge MSU fan in every way (sorry if you're not and I hope that won't affect our relationship this year) and am very excited to learn and teach our new Amplify Science Curriculum this year!
As far as my work experience goes before coming to Okemos...for eight years I taught 4th and 5th grade in the Lansing School District, first at Harley Franks Elementary and then at Fairview Elementary. During that time I supervised, managed, taught, facilitated, had fun with, and learned from many students, families, and staff. I look forward to continuing with those opportunities and adding more memories here at Hiawatha. While working at my many different schools, I didn't just teach within my four walls on a day-to-day basis. I became involved in many extra-curricular learning experiences for not only my students but also the students in my building. I love being involved and I love working with students and families both in and out of the classroom.
Speaking of inside the classroom, my philosophy of teaching is very simple. I believe all students can learn. My job is to find out how and make that learning the best experience possible for that child. I do this by being there for the student whenever I am needed. I strive to make my classroom the best learning environment possible where the students are in charge of their own learning and me as the facilitator to keep things organized, moving forward, running smoothly, comfortable, and safe. I create a very positive rapport with my students so they feel comfortable confiding in me on every level. I even throw in a dash of humor and silliness every once and a while to make it more fun for the kids. I want your children to want to come to school, period.
Lastly, I am the youngest of six and four of my siblings are educators. I have been married to my wife now for just over 18 years and we are blessed with our son, Nolan, who is a sporty and band loving 15 ½-year-old (and going to be a sophomore at OHS this year!) as well as our artsy and spunky daughter, Luci, who is just over 12 years old and going into 7th grade at Chippewa this year. I am sure the kids will hear lots of stories about them both as they are a huge part of my life (in and out of school) AND I just love being a dad. My wife Courtney and I also have much to talk about and share as she is also a teacher...in fact, she is here at Hiawatha in Kindergarten! I like to travel, camp, go on bike rides, play tennis/pickleball, downhill ski, work around the house and yard, and play with my family.
Again, I look forward to meeting all of you and please feel free to visit anytime or contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I can't wait to work with you and your student during the 2023-2024 school year!