With two children that attend Bellevue Public Schools, I’ve seen first-hand the workings of the school district from its administrators to classroom experiences. My engagement with the school district began with pre-school and includes classroom volunteering, the advanced learning program, 504 plan development and implementation, sports and choice programs.
As the son of a cardiologist and a school librarian, I was raised to value education. As an elementary school student, my parents were active volunteers in the classroom with my dad often doing guest talks on health or diet while my mom seemed to be ever present in the school. I lost my parents after they died in a plane accident when I was 11. A disruptive move from Illinois to Massachusetts and spending time as an anonymous and unmotivated student during middle school left me adrift before refocusing in High School. I attended Grinnell College where I studied Biology and Environmental Studies and received a Master's degree from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment.
I moved to Bellevue in 2001, shortly after finishing graduate studies. After becoming acclimated to my new home, I gradually began to give back to the community, first as a run leader for Eastside Runners and later contributing my expertise to Bellevue committees on environment and bicycle and pedestrian mobility. Parenthood shifted my focus and since 2015 I have been a classroom volunteer with various Bellevue Schools contributing to classrooms Kindergarten through High School grades. In addition to helping with all the little things that help teachers and administrative staff focus on educating our students, I have enjoyed being a guest teacher for Biology and Environmental Studies classes where I've brought local applied projects into the classroom. As a sports enthusiast, I've also served as a little league baseball coach, and a recreational soccer coach.
For me, the COVID pandemic brought an increased focus on providing students with rich and engaging experiences to maintain enthusiasm for learning. While schools maintained pandemic restrictions that limited in-person learning experiences, I led the successful effort to host an in-person Science Fair at Clyde Hill Elementary School in June of 2021. By hosting the fair outside and maintaining Covid protocols, more than 100 students were able to show the results of their projects to each other, families and teachers. This successful event was one of the only in-person activities in that school year in BSD. As my children have moved into middle and high school, I've shifted my focus to ensuring their schools have the resources to provide the educational experience students deserve. As a PTSA board member, I've led fundraising for our school's PTSA and I'm thrilled that we've exceeded goals for every fundraiser effort and set new records for annual fundraising. Those additional funds are being used to support classroom and activity grants that enhance learning experiences.