During my youth I was a very rambunctious kid. I would constantly test the boundaries of whatever I was doing. At age two I explored the concept of a ladder only to fall off of it at the third rung and receive a few stitches in my head. I tried to take on our dog, a boxer, and lost finishing with a big knot on my forehead. At age ten, playing sandlot baseball I dove for a ball only to come up with a broken beer bottle embedded in my hand. Needless to say, I was on a first name basis with the emergency room doctors and nurses.

As I look back on my life so far, I think my childhood was a good indication of where my life would direct me. I was always curious and I wanted to accomplish so much more than anyone I knew. I was competitive. I hated to lose.  Playing tackle football in my front yard with the neighbor boy, I made it a mission that I wasn’t going to lose or allow him to ever score a point.  As a result, I strive to succeed.

I don’t look at trying to win awards in what I do. I look towards a self-satisfaction of what I did that day. Did I do the best that I could do? While I have been recognized by my peers in a variety of areas, it doesn’t beat that feeling at the end of the day when you know you did your best.  That is why I teach.

It is such a wow feeling when a child “Gets It” for the very first time. When you get a note from a former student who says, “You don’t know how much you have impacted my life.” That is what I hope to do as I look to tomorrow. I want to continue to inspire which means I need to be tenacious today as I live with Parkinson’s. I won’t let it bring me down because I hate to lose.