One of my first jobs was as a cowboy on a ranch in Montana. As a hired hand I put up hay, fixed fences and tended calves. It was on the ranch where I learned to appreciate bad coffee, a good pair of gloves and trucks that start on cold winter mornings. I also learned the western values of hard work, horsemanship and community. Although I loved the cowboy life, I decided to leave the ranch and return to Colorado State University where I finished my undergraduate degree and become a teacher.
I started my career in education as a substitute teacher and, over the course of almost 20 years, gained experience as a classroom teacher, coach, principal and administrator in traditional schools as well as in charter, online and alternative school environments. I served in a variety of leadership roles at the school, district and state levels where I worked in urban, suburban and rural communities. A large portion of my educational leadership career focused on leading school improvement initiatives. As a part of that work, I created and implemented tools for analyzing school/district performance, developed strategic school improvement plans, implemented a variety of data driven instruction models and engaged in numerous leadership development projects.
In terms of formal education, I earned a Bachelors of Science degree from Colorado State University and a Masters of Arts (Education Administration, Leadership & Policy Studies) from the University of Colorado in Denver. Additionally, I have participated in non-degree programs at a variety of colleges and universities including Harvard University, The University of Virginia, Colorado Mesa University, Regis University and Denver Seminary. I have also completed doctoral coursework at the University of Northern Colorado in educational leadership, but suspended my studies when I was elected to serve as the mayor of Firestone, CO in 2008. I was term limited in 2014 after 3 terms.
In addition to serving three terms as mayor, I have experience as a city councilman, county planning commissioner and co-vice chair of the Denver Metro Mayors Caucus. On an international level, I participated in diplomatic delegations to Turkey, Canada and China and was the founding chairman of an organization focused on building subnational relationships between local officials in the United States and China.
As an elected community leader I worked on issues such as sensible energy development, stewardship of natural resources, transportation infrastructure and economic development. Near the end of my final term as mayor, MONEY Magazine named Firestone, CO among the top communities in America.
Due to a combination of term limits and a desire to get back to our roots, my family and I decided to sell off our ever squeezed slice of suburbia and find some wide open spaces. We now live on a modest horse ranch in southeast Wyoming where we enjoy riding the open range, raising 4H animals and fixing fences. I traded my metropolitan job and mayoral office for a spot on the local volunteer Fire Department. I am also working as an independent leadership consultant partnering with organizations to create and implement innovative solutions. Currently, I am engaged in a long term project with the Wyoming Department of Education.
This website used to be a platform for communicating with constituents, advancing political projects and engaging in various policy debates.
It is now reborn as a simple repository for my thoughts on the things I love and care about.