Educational Background & Training
My bachelor's degree is in Communication (Elizabethtown College, PA), and I have a dual master's degree in Higher Education Administration & College Student Development (Syracuse University, NY). My research focused on applying student development theory to community building in educational settings as it relates to student retention and success. I also have extensive training in Restorative Justice and Mediation, Diversity and Social Justice work, and Leadership Development. I was trained in mediation, process work, and negotiation by Neil Katz, the Director of the academic program in Nonviolent Conflict and Change (Syracuse University) and the Director of the Institute on Creative Conflict Resolution. I have a great deal of experience working with the K-8 population (students and staff) through my consulting and partnership roles as well as my experience at Flagstaff Academy.
Prior to coming to Flagstaff, I served as the Director of Community Affairs and Restorative Justice at the Lafayette Police Department (4 years). In this role, I implemented a Restorative Justice program for juvenile offenders which utilizes the skills of a highly-trained team of volunteer facilitators.It successfully reduced the overall crime rate in Lafayette by 31% in its first two years. I also served the city as a certified crime prevention specialist and a self-defense instructor. I was responsible for all police-community partnership programs such as Neighborhood Watch, Citizens' Police Academy, Business Liaison Program, the R.A.D. Self-Defense Program, and others. I also worked closely with the schools throughout the city to help them utilize Restorative Justice in their discipline programs. In this capacity, I served on the Council for the Advancement of Restorative Practices in Education (CARPE). I continue to serve on the Management Team for the Restorative Justice Training Collaboration through a non-profit organization called the Longmont Community Justice Partnership. Since 2005, I've served as a faculty member for the Partnership for Restorative Justice Training, which offers an annual 40-hour comprehensive training in Restorative Justice.
Before that, I held various roles as a college administrator and instructor at Baldwin-Wallace College (where I also coached men's soccer), the State University of New York, Syracuse University, and University of Colorado-Boulder. One of the many hats I wore was that of a Judicial Officer, adjudicating violations of student conduct and the law. I helped to implement a Restorative Justice program at CU-Boulder in 1999, the first program of its kind in any college or university in the country. It is now used as a national model.
In addition to my work at Flagstaff Academy, I am a professor for DeVry University, teaching Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving, a required online class for all their new students. I continue to work as a partner and consultant for Evergreen3, and conduct workshops and keynotes around the country related to a book I co-authored called, "The Personal Vision Workbook." The book was published in 2006, and was ranked as a top-50 vocational guidance book on Amazon.com.
I'm interested and involved in a wide variety of things! As an avid triathlete and marathoner, I'm currently working to finish a marathon in every state before I turn 50 (you can read more about that adventure on my personal blog HERE). I enjoy being active and competitive in sports. Soccer was the big thing for me growing up, and I played in the ODP youth program in NJ and into college as well, before getting into coaching at the youth (currently coaching for Trebol SC) and college level. I also enjoy skiing, and worked on the Race Crew at Keystone Resort for about 10 years, helping kids learn to race, and supporting the U.S. Ski Team in their training partnership with Keystone. In 2007, I qualified and competed in the national championships, finishing 3rd in Colorado, and 11th nationally for my division. I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, climbing, kayaking, skydiving, glider-piloting, hang-gliding...or whatever else I can get into. One of my long-standing dreams has been to climb Everest, and I read compulsively about it.
I have the greatest family ever! My wife, Bethany, and I have lived in Colorado since 1999. Our family started when we adopted a Siberian Husky, Veya, who we sadly lost at the young age of eight to a sudden-onset blood-disorder in 2009. We miss her terribly and have many fond memories with her. Our son Garrett is in second grade, and loves to read, hike, ski, and play sports. Our daughter Gillian is in Kindergarten, loves her big-brother, gymnastics, dance, and has recently gotten her ski legs too! We are a close family who loves spending time with each other and traveling together. Our extended families are far away on the east coast, so when we travel to visit family, it's typically a significant trip.
I grew up in a large Italian-American family, with most everyone living nearby. My three brothers and I enjoyed time with lots and lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins, while my grandparents lived in the same house with us. I also have family living in Italy, and enjoyed a recent trip there in 2009 to meet our newest nephew.