Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Journey to Perfect Job!

On Monday, the education director spent the entire day at Gregg Middle School discussing his career choices and the dream job in the middle of Four Holes Swamp! The journey from New Jersey to the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest was far from a straight line.

Shortly after his birth, his dad joined the U. S. Air Force and the moving began. New Jersey to Georgia to Mississippi to Georgia to Mississippi to The Philippines to Mississippi to Texas to Hof and Ramstein and Zweibruecken, Germany to Grandview and Belton, Missouri to Florida and finally to Brussels, Belgium. The family continued moving, but after 15 different schools, he graduated high school at the Brussels American School and headed to the University of South Carolina. Little did he know that his best friend in Brussels would be his wife eight years later.

The Navy gave him a NROTC scholarship and encouraged him to take a technical major to better serve the nuclear Navy. After 2.5 years of that, he switched to the USMC side and changed majors to something more interesting...history. Why then, many have asked, did he get a 3.2 GPA? That would be directly attributable to the non-standard history electives: 2.0 years of calculus, chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, fluids, statics, solids, etc.

After being commissioned a 2ndLt., he spent four years on active duty and two in the reserves. While working at Tupperway Tires (Summerville, SC) as the warehouse manager, he was called up during the First Gulf War. Although few give him wartime credit for his service, few can argue that Saddam Hussein made no effort to attack via the Western Front. He obviously saw the Marines standing tall into the breeze off of the Pacific Ocean. Those paying attention in geography class can help those that were asleep. For some, the first war was spent repairing equipment in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Tough duty, but that's why they sent "The Few. The Proud."

Upon returning from the burning sands of the Kaneohe Bay Marine Corps Air Station's golf course, he worked temporary jobs while earning a Masters in Teaching. After three years of teaching science, he became a stay-home dad for his 6-month-old daughter. Although a stay-home dad for eight years, which included the arrival of daughter #2, he remained active in the educational community, including a spring session as a seasonal naturalist at Beidler Forest. That is when he knew what he wanted to do when he grew up! From that point forward, every decision was made with the thought of eventually working full-time at Beidler Forest.

The journey wasn't a straight road from New Jersey to Beidler Forest, but it was certainly educational and enjoyable. Hopefully, one of the guys pictured to the right makes it to your table along with the friends and family that make your journey worth remembering!

We'll be taking a break until next week.

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