Education is a journey. I am my students’ guide and partner on that journey. Along the way, I aim to inspire and to encourage. The experience should be meaningful, relevant and authentic at all times. We will together acquire and apply the skills and knowledge that help underpin a successful, happy and productive life. Ultimately, that means fostering resilience, confidence and preparedness. There too will be time and space to make mistakes, and to learn from them.
I graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in history and Italian. I completed my M.A. in Italian literature at the University of California, Los Angeles, where I also taught. I then went into journalism, working in Italy, California, Bulgaria and Washington, D.C., including as a science writer for The Associated Press. I later spent a decade working as a children’s science writer, author and editor. At Sally Ride Science, I wrote 10 books for children ages 9-14 on topics including green chemistry, climate change and extrasolar planets. I also worked as an editor (and sometimes writer) for Science News for Students. I have taught at Discovery since 2015.
I was born in Italy and have lived much of my life overseas, including in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador and Somalia. However, I spent nearly all of my elementary school years in Arlington. I attended Nottingham starting in first grade but moved back to Italy halfway through sixth. Before then, I spent countless hours playing soccer, riding bikes and flying kites where Discovery now stands. I moved back to Arlington with my wife and our son (now a Williamsburg 6th grader) in 2014 after seven years in Serbia and Kosovo. In my free time, I love to run, hike, read and cook.
Few books hold as much meaning for me as does Rascal by Sterling North. This memoir covers a year of his boyhood in a small Wisconsin town. A self-described “very competent eleven-year-old,” Sterling is, like all children, a natural scientist. He is curious and observant — as is too the Rascal of the title: a baby raccoon that Sterling adopts and raises. Rascal and Sterling’s other pets in some ways substitute for family members lost to work, marriage and, tragically, death. Set against the backdrop of World War I and the 1918 flu epidemic, the book acknowledges what’s wrong with the world, but celebrates the greater part that is right and wonderful.