I witnessed the birth of my first child the same year I began teaching. Soon she will graduate from high school. As parents, my wife and I have been at her side during the entire journey. I am proud of her. She is an excellent daughter, and a hardworking student. I come at education from the point of view of parent and teacher. Parents have the ultimate responsibility for the growth and development of our children. We need strong families and good parents to guide our children.

At the same time, teachers should be trusted partners in the education of our kids. We in education need to recognize that we are most successful when we are a support for families, and not a replacement for them. However, as a classroom teacher I have seen firsthand that many children come from very difficult home situations. When done right, our teaching will not only enhance the life of the individual child, but buoy up the family as a whole.

Many of the divisions in our society have filtered down to education. Some of the language from both sides has been divisive and antagonistic. As a father of six school age children, and a professional teacher, I see both sides. I want to work to bring these sides together, and help us recognize that while we may have differing opinions on certain topics, we all have the same goal: have our children be successful in life. Education is a key factor in that success.