Back to my wheelhouse

Posted Jul 10, 2018

I’m up to year 24 with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. I started as an elementary school art teacher at Luxford Elementary School.

What are you excited about in this new role as a fine arts coordinator?

I would say that this new role offers me the opportunity to go back to my wheelhouse and do things that I’m very passionate about – visual arts is where my true education and passion lies. Also, I’ve really come to discover I truly like leadership and coordinating programs, teachers, students, community, partners, etc. So, just all those things combined, I feel like I can hit the ground running. Anne Wolcott and Sharon Clohessy established some fantastic foundation work here, and it gives me an opportunity to maybe bring in a fresh look, continue the work they’re doing and continue to grow the visual arts program in the division. Some of the things that we’re hoping to do is that we continue to look at ways to offer new and exciting opportunities to students via the curriculum in addition to exhibition opportunities. We’ll probably continue a lot of the traditions that are in place that are very sound but from the same standpoint, we’ll probably take a step back and look at how our community as a whole has started to change. When you start to look at visual arts, we have a lot of really fabulous things going on at the Oceanfront and in the ViBe. MOCA plays a huge part in that, so that partnership is key to the continued success of education of our students in the city.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I’m a family man. I have two wonderful boys and a fabulous wife. My son is a rising senior, which is hard to believe, at First Colonial and ATC. My youngest is a rising seventh-grader at Old Donation School. My wife is a fourth-grade teacher at John B. Dey. So, I keep busy with them. In my free time…I like to exercise, try to keep in shape. I’m a cross-trainer. I like lifting. I’m actually an ex-college wrestler. Most people don’t know that, they don’t make the connection between visual arts and wrestling. I surprised Mr. Brewington yesterday when I told him that I was a snare drummer all through high school…in a fabulous marching band, the Sherburne Earlville Marching Marauders, under the tutelage of an outstanding drumline instructor that was with the Madison Scouts, a guy named Dr. Steven Spelcy.

I also have the great escape – I love going to watch NASCAR. I love watching cars go in circles really fast. I’m not sure why but it’s such a great release for me. I love the design of and the engineering of cars. The engines…that will be, when I retire someday, I would love to learn the mechanics of how they do some of that stuff. It’s fascinating to me.