I was born in Columbus, but grew up in the hills of southeastern Ohio. When I was about nine years old, my family moved to a farm about three miles outside of Logan, Ohio, where I developed work habits that persist to this day.
Every morning, I would get up early and milk three cows, by hand. After school, I would milk them again. In the summer, we planted sweet corn and beans and sold them in town, out of the back of our pickup truck. My brothers and I would help make hay and put it up in the barn, pitch manure and spread it on the fields, and hoe the garden that supplied much of our food (my mom would can many quarts of vegetables and fruits.) We raised a few beef cattle as well, so we were largely self-reliant when it came to food.
There was a period of time after we moved to the farm when we lived in a mobile home with no running water. We had to haul water from town, and our toilet facilities were “primitive”, so I certainly appreciate the value of public water and wastewater treatment.
My parents were both first-generation college graduates, who made it clear that their sons, as well as our adopted sister, were going to graduate from college. I did well in high school, including winning state-wide awards in math and chemistry (first in the state of Ohio in 1966), and was the valedictorian of my class. I went on to Harvard College, thanks to a National Merit Scholarship, and graduated with a degree in chemistry, with honors, in 1971.
I worked with a land surveying company for a year, then taught math at a small technical college in southeastern Ohio for a couple of years. While I was teaching there, I began taking graduate level classes at Ohio University, eventually enrolling there full time in the Industrial and Systems Engineering department. I was a teaching assistant at OU, which paid my tuition and a small stipend. I earned my master’s degree in 1976.
After graduating from Ohio University, I found a job in the Fuel Supply Department of what was at that time the largest investor-owned electric utility company in the US. I spent 35 years in coal mining, engineering education, and research and development positions before retiring in mid-2010.
I immediately went back to school to take classes in education, and then worked as a substitute teacher in central Ohio for a couple years, teaching primarily math and science classes. My wife and I moved to Leland in 2013, largely to avoid the snow, and I started subbing in New Hanover County schools, again largely in math and science classes. Twice, I have been “drafted” to teach chemistry full-time when vacancies occurred in the middle of a school year.
I was elected as a commissioner of Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO in 2015, and named chairman of the board of commissioner in 2017. I am now seeking re-election.