9th Grade Lead Teacher
I was raised in Springfield Missouri before moving to the Pacific Northwest, immediately before 8th grade. To pull through this culture shock, I became involved in music, theater, canoe building, and mountainous-sports. Deciding to do my best to stay located near the Cascade mountains—a place where I experience God’s wondrous creation, presence, and power—I attended Washington State University, Concordia University, Western Washington University, Grand Canyon University, and Whatcom Community College. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in History and Social Studies, and earned my Masters of Secondary Education. God’s plan in my life has led me around the world, into unique and surprising opportunities, and I’m thrilled to continue walking this path that He leads me on.
Bellingham is my home—this is where I met, worked with, courted, and married my incredible wife Lauren. We have been blessed with our two boys—a 5 and 3 years old. Our family time typically includes homemade science experiments, bike riding, lightsaber fights, loud music, sharing Bible stories, and writing down the ridiculous sayings spewing from their young creative minds.
I am so blessed to get to teach. I love teaching! Through teaching, I am able to combines my love of learning with my passion for my students. Through meaningful and friendly relationships, I tailor instruction and curriculum to appeal to each student. I’ve worked in a variety of middle and high schools and understand the hugely transitional period that these kids are undergoing. This semester will bring out the curiosity, energy, and excitement that each student has. I believe everyone wants to learn, thus, through a variety of means, including a culminating, student-led project; we will tap into that desire!
My philosophy in teaching is centered around relationship with students. I do not have a cut and paste curriculum—I know what it feels like to sit through those classes. Instead, I get to know each student quickly and tailor my teaching around them. This is why I teach—each day, each class, and every student bring a fresh outlook to the classroom! I am thrilled to be a part of and build upon a diverse classroom as this allows for wholistic learning to take place. I love to learn and grow, finding new ways to prepare young people to go out into the world and be successful citizens, family members, friends, and children of God.
I am happy to try new ideas, press forward, and revise when necessary. While the idea of ‘student-centered learning’ has been criticized for lacking accountability or rigor, my teaching incorporates a good deal of assessment—both formal and informal—and the expectations are high. Student-oriented learning, I believe, means to be responsive to where students are, while still introducing new concepts that challenge and prepare them for college, careers, or wherever their journey lies.
Our intent with this ground-breaking ninth grade classroom is to provide a rigorous classroom experience grounded in relationship, creativity, and learning through the teachings of Jesus. In close conjunction with Lynden Christian High School, Bellingham Christian School will provide a fully state-aligned high school freshman schedule, including:
- Freshman English (reading and writing intensive course)
- Differentiated/tiered math program based on incoming assessments
- Science program with a lab component
- Geography course
- Bible course
- Physical Education and Health that is focused on outdoor and recreational activities
- Technology (incorporated into the other courses)
- Learning Project
The expectation is for full participation and ownership on behalf of each student. A great deal of the classroom will include student leadership and projects-based curriculum.