My wife and I have lived in Chesapeake for 21 years. We have five children and five grandchildren who have or are currently attending public school. They’ve experienced an excellent educational process. Our youngest daughter graduated from Deep Creek High School and one grandson currently attends Oscar Smith High School. The educational success of my children, grandchildren, and all children is a primary reason I have chosen to run for school board.
My careers have shown my desire to serve. I am a Navy Veteran with 23 years of service. I spent 4 years on active duty and the remainder in the United States Navy Reserve, retiring as a Hospital Corpsman Chief Petty Officer. During that time, I was privileged to provide medical services for my team members and their many dependents. I also became a CPR instructor, which I presently retain. One key thing I learned in the Navy was to never forget where you came from. When I was promoted to chief, this became a very important concept in my career. I felt it was my responsibility to ensure those team members, who were being managed by me, became successful in their Naval advancement.
After active duty, I served over 20 years in the Norfolk Fire Department and became a paramedic. Providing medical services to the public gave me a better perspective on the value of life. The other aspect of this job brought me into the educational arena. While in the fire service, I started teaching EMS classes and layperson First AID/CPR.
I also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Healthcare from Liberty University, and a Masters in Executive Leadership from Liberty University. This education has been a tremendous help to my ability to lead others and prepare them for the future.
My wife and I opened a business fourteen years ago in the Greenbrier section of Chesapeake. We provide educational classes for first responders, physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel. We also provide training to corporate America to lay responders in thirty-six states, one US territory, and eight foreign countries, including First Aid and CPR training and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Management. These jobs helped me understand that life is not about me and is truly about the success of others.
This can also be seen in my life of faith. We have been members of Covenant United Methodist Church for approximately 20 years. One activity that seriously changed my life was the day our pastor asked me to fill in for him. Not a job that I felt was my calling. However, standing in the pulpit, it became very clear that my life was less about me and more about what Christ wants us to do for others. This experience confirmed the fact that my faith truly influences my political involvement.
I believe that everything in my life has been a calling to the next step. Whether saving a life or teaching others to do the same changes the trajectory of those we influence. I believe my ability to help others succeed will have a positive impact on our schools and community.
I feel it is the job of parents and grandparents to assure the future of our children. Families must be involved in their children’s education and should be assured that children are being taught how to succeed in life and become productive members of our society. We must help teachers provide the highest standards to all students. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he or she should go: and when he or she is old, they will not depart from it” should apply to all children to assure they become a successful member of our society.
I agree with Franklin Graham when he said, “I think the most important elected official is a school board member”. He also makes it very clear in his statement, “To make a real difference, you might even consider running for office”. These statements have pushed me to fight the good fight and pursue an honorable seat on Chesapeake School Board.