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Background

I was born in a small town in Western New York. My family actually lived in an even smaller town. I spent most of my pre-college life living in Anchorage, Alaska with my mother, brother, and three sisters.

Unlike many of the students whom I attended school with, I enjoyed going to school and learning. My curiosity about things always kept me interested in the subjects I was studying.

I graduated from East Anchorage High School in May 1979. It is here where you can blame the people who hooked me on history and gave me the desire to be a teacher.

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Mr. Mac
1979 Yearbook photo

I was married shortly after graduating high school and attended Anchorage Community College and the University of Alaska, Anchorage, on a part-time basis for about 3 years, earning about 30 units. My wife, LaVerne, and will celebrate our 38th wedding anniversary during this school year.

Working Life

I spent 25 years working for the Federal government, first in Alaska, then in California. From 1977 to 1985, I worked for the Federal Aviation Administration Alaskan Region. I enjoyed the work, people, and opportunities presented to me. In order to persue other interests, I applied for a transfer to the Bureau of Reclamation, taking a position at the Tracy Pumping Plant of the Delta-Mendota Canal. That position was not quite what I expected so I started applying for other positions, eventually finding a position with the Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District in 1986. I worked in various capacities, but each position involved working with some type of computer: mini-mainframe computers, personal computers, and network servers. In my last position, I was responsible for web servers and network security. I retired from the Federal government at the age of 42 in order to complete my college degree and earn a teaching credential.

College and Teaching

During my last few years of work with the Federal govenment, I started taking classes at Sacramento City College and American River College. The plan was to complete the requirements to transfer to Sacramento State at the same time I retired. The planning worked out perfectly. After retiring on August 3, 2003, I started my Sac State classes in the Fall 2003 semester. I thoroughly enjoyed my college experience. The classes were great and the professors not only knowledgeable, but friendly and approachable when I needed help.

I transferred to Sacramento State with 60 college units. I took classes during each available session, completing my "25-year" college plan in the Fall of 2004, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Social Science, emphasis on teaching. (Personal note: I do not recommend the 25-year plan to earn a college degree -- do it in 4 to 5 years!!!) I was accepted into the Bilingual/Multicultural Teacher Credentialing program for Fall 2005. During the Spring 2005 semester, I completed enough Mathematics units to qualify for a Math supplement to any credential I earned.

If my teacher credentialing program was not the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, it is very, very close to the top of the list. In addition to student teaching, I was either in class learing about teaching methods or writing papers my professors required. I had very little free time. The hard work was worth the effort when I earned my Teaching Credential for Social Science in the Spring 2006. In the Spring of 2012, I took math classes at Sac State covering Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Statistics in order to upgrade my Math credential.

I was hired to teach SDAIE Algebra I at C. K. McClatchy High School for the 2006-2007 school year. Since the Fall 2007, I have taught SDAIE Geography, SDAIE US History, SDAIE World History, US Government, US History, World History, CAHSEE Math Prep, and Algebra I. From 2011-2016 I was the program coodinator and lead teacher for the Criminal Justice Academy (CJA). I returned to teaching Social Science classes in the fall of 2016, however I did not move far from the CJA, teaching CJA Geography/CGI, CJA World History, and CJA Government/Economics.

Hobbies and Relaxation.

My main hobby is chess. I have been involved in competitve chess since 1977. In 1979, I was the Alaska State Junior Chess Champion. In addition to playing chess, I have organized and directed chess tournaments in Alaska and California. In March 2008, I passed the National Tournament Director exam (a lot harder than any test I give in to my students). This certification qualifies me to run chess tournaments at every level in the United States. In addition, I have international tournament director certifications and am working to gain higher level international certifications.

Locally, I have been actively involved with the Sacramento Chess Club (the 2016 United States Chess Club of the Year) for many years. Currently, I am the Club treasurer and weekend event organizer. This year, I am also the advisor for the McClatchy High School Chess Club.

In addition to chess, I enjoy playing golf, bowling, and reading. My current reading goal is to read biographies of all the presidents of the United States. So far, I have completed biograhies of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and Abraham Lincoln. As part of my continuing education as a Social Science teacher, I read the Journal of World History and the Journal of American History (and yes, I do consider this to also be a part of my "relaxation time").