I grew up in Raytown, the son of the superintendent of maintenance at the GM Leeds assembly factory, and the oldest of 8 stair-cased children. I played football and was on the debate team at Raytown High School where I graduated in 1970. I went to Missouri Valley College, majored in mathematics and minored in physics. I graduated in December of 1973 and took my first teaching job in a rural school, Grain Valley, in January of 1974. Grain Valley had less than 200 students in grades 9-12 at that time. I was the original STEM instructor in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. I taught Geometry, Algebra 2, Trigonometry, Advanced Math Topics, Physics, and Computer programming in BASIC. Many of my senior students would have 3 classes with me per day. After school I was often their football or girls’ basketball coach.
I married Lynda Crank who I had dated exclusively since I had graduated from Raytown. In 1979 we had a daughter, Maegan. Lynda was tragically shot and killed in a bank robbery in Independence, MO in October of 1980. Well obviously… that was a changing point in my life. I will not turn this brief bio into a Kairos adult talk.
I remarried Nancy McCracken Gillespie, Lynda’s best friend, who had lost her husband to cancer. I decided to leave Grain Valley and take a new job at Rockhurst in 1984. In my 31 years at the Rock, I have served in many capacities. I have taught every subject in the math curriculum, coached football, supervised the weight room, supervised the computer lab, taught summer school to incoming freshmen, and taught in the Hurtado program.
The most important thing I have done in tenure at Rockhurst is to serve as an adult leader on our Kairos retreats. I have Father Chris Pinne to thank for this revitalization of my own spiritual life.
I currently teach 5 freshmen Algebra I classes. Instructing these newest sons of Ignatius not only Algebra, but what it means to be a member of the Rockhurst community. Despite our setbacks, we battle on… with grit and determination. We finish the race so we can win the ultimate prize. As our young men so proudly cheer from the stands when we a behind in a game and all hope seems to be lost…”the ROCK don’t quit.”
Transforming young lives, one day at a time, to become disciples of Jesus Christ so they may in turn transform our world.
- Matthew 28: 18-20
I plant the seeds that will one day grow.
I water the seeds that have been planted.
I may not see the bountiful harvest that lies in the future.
I am a laborer, not the architect, in God’s plan for your son’s life.
- Oscar Romero
I am “living the dream.” Little could I imagine twenty years ago the transformation of our school from chalkboards and erasers …to iPads, projectors, wireless networks, and TI-84 color calculators.