I was born in Longview in 1981 and spent the first years of my life in Kalama, before moving to Rainier. My fondest childhood memories were playing sports, camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting. I have three brothers, one older and two younger. I had some great teachers and coaches growing up, which were part of the village that helped raise me.
I made several academic stops after high school including a year and a half at Lower Columbia College before transferring to Eastern Oregon University. There I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in History, received my teaching license, and most importantly met Erika Herrera. During this time I also gained work experience as the groundskeeper/maintenance at the Howard Johnson Hotel.
After graduating from EOU I moved back to Longview and took a mill job at Pacific Fibre. I spent the summer working long hot days and the fall/winter working long cold nights. In January I started my first temporary teaching job at Estacada High School. In the fall I started my first full time teaching job at Pilot Rock Jr/Sr High School.
While still living in Pendleton I received the James Madison Memorial Fellowship. This fellowship is dedicated to improving teaching of the U.S. Constitution. This fellowship paid for the majority of my Master’s Degree, which I earned in Political Science from Virginia Tech. Part of the fellowship also included a month-long summer institute at Georgetown University, which was an amazing experience.
Moving back home was something that I had wanted to do for a long time. When my dad became sick I knew that it was time. I interviewed for a job in the Toutle Lake School District and was told that staff hired at Toutle Lake stay forever. I think they were right. They gave me a job and I will be forever grateful for being hired at Toutle Lake. I was able to spend the last few months of my dad’s life with him.
At this time, my family moved to Silverlake where we renovated another house before eventually moving into our dream home in Toutle. We truly hope to stay here forever. Our family now consists of our two kids, four cats, and our dog Ziggy. Our favorite family activity is to hang out by the Toutle River.
Two years after working at Toutle Lake I told the administration that I was interested in going into administration myself. A week later I was offered the job as the principal at Toutle Lake Jr/Sr High School. I remained the principal for five years before resigning to go back to my old job as a social studies teacher just this last year. I am happy that I experienced life as a school administrator. I am happy to be back teaching students in the classroom.
Throughout my life I have been a coach. I have coached baseball for over twenty seasons. I have coached football for fifteen seasons. I have coached wrestling for three seasons. I have even coached basketball for a season. I love coaching. I love being an educator.
My hobbies today are similar to what they were as a kid. Sports, camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting still play a part in my life. At 40 years old I still play baseball for the Portland Cuthroats in the Northwest Independent Baseball League. Every year I look forward to camping in the summer with my family. I need to make time to hike more. I wish I were a better fisherman. I have hunted my entire life, but going for long walks in the woods with a rifle seems like a better description. As mentioned earlier, there is no place I would rather be than hanging out by the river with my family.
This brings me to the present. I am currently running for Congress in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District as an independent candidate. As your independent representative my focus will be on serving the people of Southwest Washington, encouraging a more positive political climate, and working toward removing the monetary influences in politics.