School: East Woods Elementary, Hudson City Schools

Residence:  I have lived in Hudson the last 25 years, but just recently moved to North Canton

Age: 56

High school alma mater: Carrollton High School

College: University of Akron, BA; Ashland University, MA - Classroom Management and Instruction

Family: Wife, Julie Haines; two daughters, Karlie and Kolbie; son, Kyle

What subject(s) do you teach (grade level)?: I teach fifth-grade language arts and social studies.

What is the best part of your job?: The best part of my job is helping my students grow academically, socially and emotionally. I strive to build a great rapport with my students and to get to know them on a personal level. I think in order to build that rapport there are three questions students want to be answered about their teacher: Does their teacher care about them? Is their teacher fair? Does their teacher have a passion for the subject they are teaching?

What is the most challenging part of your job?: The most challenging part of my job is to always remember my students are kids and they all develop at different rates. As a teacher, we worry sometimes that our students are not growing as they should based on standardized tests. While assessments are important, it is more important to understand life is a journey. I always try to help students understand that your attitude will be the rudder to guide you on that journey. We have to remember students often learn the most from their mistakes and need to learn that failure is not a bad thing, as long as you keep trying.

Is teaching kids the same today as when you first started?: Teaching kids today is very similar to when I first started. I think 10-year-olds haven’t changed that much in the last 30 years. The key is to make lessons interesting, relatable and current. The one thing that has changed over time is the world around them. They have such access to so much information due to technology. I also believe teaching has changed for me because I have become a little older and wiser. I have learned to be more patient and understanding.

Your students would be surprised to know that I ...  have been on a hot air balloon ride.

What’s your hidden talent? I sing really well when no one is listening.

If you weren’t a teacher, you’d be doing what? That’s a tough one, but I think I would still be helping young people in some way. I have always thought it would be fun to teach or coach at the college level.

After a long day at work, what’s the best way to relax? I enjoy spending time with my wife, who is also a teacher. We can always relate when we share our work experiences. Almost every day, we share something fun or interesting about our students. I also enjoy listening to music.