Tell us about your LPS experience
I consider myself blessed to have grown up in LPS Schools, starting with Kindergarten at Runyon, 1-5 at Hopkins, and then Powell and Arapahoe to round things out. I was exposed to amazing teachers, great friends, and a network of parents that supported the various activities in which I was involved. Here are a few highlights worth mentioning:
- Mrs. Nancy Conway’s first-grade class was particularly memorable for me. It was there that my love for performance, writing, and drawing were given a venue and audience. She, above many teachers to follow, demonstrated what it meant to have a teacher recognize, believe in, and support my potential. My third-grade teachers, Mrs. Trott and Mrs. Donnell spearheaded my love for history and demonstrated early in my educational career that history was about people and their stories, not about static dates and places. In third grade, my love of theater took root. Getting to star in one performance (I was the understudy) of the “Thanksgiving Scarecrow,” I realized how theater was about teamwork and collaboration. This was amplified in fifth grade through a production of A Mid-Summers Night Dream and as “Old” Ben Franklin in “The Time Machine.”
- Middle school was a challenge, as I believe it to be for many. Close friends were harder to come by, but through those years came a tremendous self-confidence that has served me well through my adult life. Middle School was also the time I fell in love with music performance. I wanted to play the trombone, but Mr. Zoric persuaded me to the percussion section, and I have never looked back – it’s amazing how one moment on one random day in sixth grade can shape who and what you become.
- High School, for me, was entirely about extra-curricular activities. I could have been a better student, and I know I missed some great opportunities, but I also wouldn’t change anything. Through my drama and particularly band activities, I developed personal attributes, honed my values, became a leader amongst my peers, and developed friendships that continue on to this very day, thank you Mr. Early and Dr. Cannava. Those two individuals, again amongst others, saw things in me that I could not see in myself and were instrumental in developing the person I have become.
- Finally, through all these experiences, I was exposed to families and parents (especially my own) who demonstrated a commitment to their children that went far beyond caring for basic needs. I came to appreciate the value in being engaged and involved, in building a community that supports the greater good, and in investing in the long game at times forsaking immediate ease or comfort.
Share your favorite LPS memory
So many of my treasured memories are centered around music and theater; they include Winter Drumline competitions in Dayton, Ohio, State marching band finals, performing as Something-Something Snetsky in “Fools” my senior year, and in 10th grade standing on the stage at Boettcher Concert Hall as my family wildly (and to my utter terror) waved signs with my name on them from the balcony until I acknowledged their presence. I recall going to the 50’s DQ for lunch in high school with friends, writing stories for the creative arts magazine, designing houses in Mr. McCall’s zero-hour drafting class, and on and on. However, one of my fondest memories was winning the relay race at field day in elementary school and then enjoying a cook-out on the playground with my friends, teachers, and family. The common thread through all of these, you’ll notice, is they all involve time and experiences with other people.
Who is in your family?
I have been married for 18 years to my college sweetheart and best friend, Briana (sadly not a product of LPS, but she turned out OK). Together we have two amazing daughters, an incoming second grader, and an incoming fifth grader, who both are proud LPS students at Littleton Prep. We love to travel to places near and far and have set a goal to visit all 50 states before the girls graduate high school. Weekends find us spending time with friends and family and our dog, Zoey. I am also lucky to still have my parents active and in the area, and love spending time with my brother (another proud LPS alumn) when he visits from out of town.
What’s next for you?
The best part of my LPS story is that it isn’t complete yet. The experiences and memories shared in this article are just the opening chapters for me. I am thrilled to get to play a role in my own kiddo’s education and experiences in this wonderful district. I am a proud volunteer in the classroom, on field trips, and in other leadership roles at LPS – plus, I may yet have the chance to embarrass my girls in the life-shaping opportunities they have before them. I am so pleased with the leadership of our district, with the promise of the EPIC campus, with the soon-to-open East Community Center, with the work of the LPS Foundation, and with the amazing teachers who pour so much every day into the lives of our students and all the principals, administrators, PARAs, custodians, volunteers and so on that come along beside them. I believe we all have a responsibility to keep this legacy strong and on track and to contribute in whatever way is right for us – that is what is next for me.