Boxing Into Barrington

Q: What’s your favorite thing about Barrington High School and the community in general?

A: I feel like Barrington offers a lot more than other places do for anybody to get involved in some of their interests. There’s a broad range of hobbies and sports that people can get involved in. I like that.

Q: Where did you work before you came here?

A: Before I was back in the state, one of my friends in Illinois got me a job in a middle school. I taught at an alternative school. Then I taught middle school for the last few years and I made my way over here. The alternative school was challenging. There are students with high needs there and some challenging situations would arise. An alternative school is for more severe behavioral needs, where they could give more services. There is more intensive care for students whose needs weren’t necessarily getting met in a general-education classroom or even a special-education classroom in the common high school setting.

Q: What made you move from an alternative school to a general-education school like Barrington?

A: I know I’ve wanted to be at a high school like where I went: where there are other sports to participate and coach and all that. Right now, I’m doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the Special Olympics. Moving forward, I’m looking at either track or gymnastics for coaching. We’ll see what happens, but for sure Special Olympics basketball, which starts on October 25 and goes until January.
Q: What’s an experience that made you want to be an educator?

A: My father being a teacher. He always spoke very highly of the profession, and growing up it was very important to me to have a job where you give back to your community. And teaching, it’s one of the best ways that you can do that. I’m a specialization foundation’s teacher, and I teach students two sections of English, and one section of History. My father actually taught at my high school, and he was the shop teacher there. He had his little electric scooter, he would drive around dressed up as Santa Claus. As an underclassman, I had to ride with him to school. Both my brother and I were into sports, and he really liked when coaches and other teachers would walk by and give him compliments about us. So in general, I know he enjoyed it.

Q: How do you think going to Texas for college impacted you?

A: I went down there for a couple years. I got my degree in special education and an endorsement in history, something I knew I wanted probably since middle school because of my father. I met my wife, who’s from San Antonio, and we moved back up here to my family’s farm. I’m actually from the area, and only went to Texas for around five years or so. It was good to travel and get out of my comfort zone. It was a big leap for me.

Q: What do you believe is the most unique interest of yours?

A: My most unique interest is probably that I teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I’m a second degree black belt and I felt like probably no one else in the school could say that.

Q: How did you get into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A: I wanted a competitive outlet after high school. I lifted weights in high school, and did wrestling and track. Within a few months after high school, I was going to college and just had a strong desire to continue to compete. So, I got into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai kickboxing. One of my buddies from wrestling actually got into it and started training at Crystal Lake; he told me to come out and I was drawn into it immediately.

Q: As a special education teacher and a Jiu-Jitsu teacher, how do you recommend up-keeping physical and mental health?

A: I think that human beings are creatures of habit. It’s very important to create good habits: good working out, getting out of the house, getting away from phones, TVs, game systems or anything like that. Creating those routines and good habits are good for you mentally, physically and spiritually. The sooner you can get into a routine like that, the better it’s going to be for you.