HOMETOWN: Born in Boston; grew up in Norwood
EDUCATION: Diploma, Xaverian Brothers High School; B.A., politics major, secondary education minor, Fairfield University; M.A., pastoral ministry, Boston College; Ph.D., educational leadership, Boston College
YEARS AT ST. JOHN’S: 16
SUBJECT: Running the school!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO TEACH FOR A LIVING? "There were two things that put me on this path. Early on in high school, I was going to be a corporate attorney, like in “L.A. Law.” But then Mr. Clark, my history teacher sophomore year told my mom that I should think about taking AP European history. I had never had that experience of someone believing in me like that, and that class just ignited a whole new passion for learning and for history. Then there was my time in Ecuador. I went for a week in high school, another week in college, and then I spent a year there after college. More than anything else, that’s where I came to see the power of education to create change and to open up opportunities for students who didn’t have them otherwise. I wanted to be part of that."
WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE EVERY DAY? "I love the energy and excitement kids bring to campus every day. They’re always asking questions, engaging with challenges, and trying to figure things out. It’s fun to be around that kind of enthusiasm."
DESCRIBE A TEACHER WHO INSPIRED YOU GROWING UP: "Eileen Scofield taught AP English at Xaverian. We started reading “Beowulf,” and she got us engaged right away. She taught us the Our Father in Old English and she was so excited when we got through it. That’s when I read “Wuthering Heights” for the first time, and it’s still my favorite novel. She also taught me how to write in a way that I never had learned before. I left that class wanting to follow her example of teaching."
WHAT EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE OF ST. JOHN’S INFORMS YOUR WORK WITH STUDENTS? "It has to be Ecuador. I’ve gone back 15 or 20 times since my first trip in high school. I have a tapestry in my office that I bought up in the mountains on my last day after spending a year at Rostro de Cristo, which is where our boys go every April with Campus Ministry. It’s a constant reminder of the reality that education is key to social change, equity, and empowering people to discover their potential. By creating opportunities for our students to go to Ecuador and understand that world, we can make social change, little by little."
WHAT EXPERIENCE AT THE PREP INFORMS YOUR WORK WITH STUDENTS? "I’m energized every time I have an opportunity to engage with our students. Whether it’s asking eighth graders about their climate science projects, a conversation with a sophomore on his way to lunch, being a part of small group discussions with seniors at PLI, or talking about the future of St. John’s, I consistently learn from our students. Every exchange is a powerful reminder of the importance of the work we do each day."
FUN FACT: "I asked my kids for what to say on this one, and they all stumbled! I cycle on the backroads of the North Shore whenever I get the chance, I like to cook pancakes for my family in the morning, and I can’t wait to see the Bucks win the NBA championship. I also speak Spanish, and despite not using it all the time, it comes back when I’m immersed in it."