I believe education and the learning environment must meet the needs of children. This is my first year at AISK as ES Principal; however it is my 16th year as a school administrator. I started teaching in 1987… thirty-four years ago. I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan and spent the last 12 years in Chicago, Illinois. I settled in Jamaica in late July 2021, along with my wife, Julie and son Caz. This is our first international experience. We are enjoying the people, culture, and beautiful climate!
Fundamentally, to be a learner one needs a child-like wonder about the world. Children are natural learners and teachers. I believe that children are essentially curious and organically seek to connect their learning to personal passions. Children seek to build a knowledge base to help them interpret the world around them. Children want to be understood, want to belong, and want to connect to their world. A classroom must meet the needs of each individual student.
In my initial conversations with the AISK Interview Committee, I discovered that my philosophical beliefs in learning clearly matched AISK’s beliefs. Teachers and administrators on the committee openly shared the importance of nurturing positive student-teacher relationships and building a learning environment that inspires unique learners. Once on campus, I witnessed everything that the committee shared with me. I observed teaching staff connecting with students, supporting unique learning environments for all types of learners, and instilling a joy for learning in every child.
I am very comfortable in learning environments. I have plenty of experience as a school principal. I love learning and I spent the last 20 years completing a Masters of Arts degree in Education and a Masters of Science degree in School Leadership. I continued my formal education and earned a doctorate degree in School Leadership from Seton Hall University in New Jersey. My doctorate degree can be described as a culmination of my experience, curiosity, resilience, and family support. I attribute my success to my love of learning and the love I received from my family.
I have always loved cooking and baking. The COVID pandemic motivated me to perfect some of my favorites: pizza crust, almond biscottis, and soft tortillas. I’ve also enjoyed recipes of my Polish heritage- pierogies (dumplings), golabki (stuffed cabbage), nalisniki (crepes), and other specialty foods. In fact, I discovered an old Polish cookbook that survived a few generations and inspired me to integrate new Jamaican ingredients found on the island such as sweet potatoes, scotch bonnets, brown sugar, and rum!
I also love being a part of my family- I enjoy the company of my wife and son. I think one of my most cherished titles is “dad.” I love everything about fatherhood - the worries, joys, frustrations, excitements, and challenges that seem to be a part of every situation and activity. As a family, we enjoy our time together; exploring the world around us through food, entertainment, tours, activities, and sights. I enjoy everything an adventure has to offer when I’m with my family. Our “Jamaican Adventure” was a family decision and seems to epitomize our sense of exploration of the world around us!
I am thrilled to be on Island sharing this experience with my family and interacting with both Jamaicans and other internationals. Navigating many of the Jamaican stores, restaurants, institutions, and other attractions has been an adventure in itself. The warmth and graciousness of Jamaica is evident! My family and I look forward to exploring the Island beyond Kingston and meeting new people!