Alumni Educator Profile
Class of 1997
Grade/Subject/Position: Associate Director of Education Policy for the Nebraska Catholic Conference
When I realized/discovered I wanted to be a teacher: In Katie Elsener’s Junior American Literature class I became aware of the power of a teacher. Mrs. Elsener demonstrated a commitment to her students that inspired me to consider if I had the potential to do the same.
School memories that impacted how/why I teach: Primarily I remember relationships. Learning is natural when it’s a partnering between a caring mentor and an enthusiastic student. At Cathedral and Pius there is a tradition of commitment to excellence on behalf of eager learners.
The impact of my students on me: My time on Chicago’s Southside as a graduate student and teacher showed me what extreme poverty and violence look like. It also showed me that the inequities embedded in various demographic groups are a continuing American tragedy that can best be remedied by people of faith modeling a missionary spirit. That should be at the heart of Catholic Education. It is our history as a Church, and that’s why I work to defend Catholic Education and empower parents to choose the best educational setting for their children.
Family Update: Susan – wife, early childhood educatorCharlotte – 12Marion – 11Henry – 8Oliver – 6Gianna – almost 2My school age children attend Cathedral.
Hobbies & Activities: I am working my way through the Western Canon of literature with a group of amazing men. I also still write for enjoyment. I love taking my kids fishing and for bike rides.
Personal Achievement: Without question my greatest achievement has been recognizing and embracing Christ as my everything. Who I am in His eyes as a husband, father, and man is all that matters.
My memories of Pius X: Many involve sports – great games, good coaches. I also had a very close group of friends. We had a lot of fun and I feel fortunate to have been in high school prior to social media! As I mentioned, I recall the teachers and relationships. I was blessed to come back to Pius twice as a teacher and coach. A team I coached is in the hall of fame, and I have so many memories of the incredible students and families. Finally, I met my wife at Pius and have vivid memories of passing notes and looks in the hallway between classes.