Tell us about you, your family and your connection to Coupeville School District
I am born, raised and lived most of my entire life in Washington State. I met my wife Amber in high school and have been married to her for 23 years. We moved to Whidbey Island 17 years ago to begin my professional career as a dentist. We have raised all three of our children here and all three were born here at Whidbey General Hospital. My son Tate will begin his first year at Coupeville high school, my oldest daughter Ayden will be in Coupeville Middle, and my youngest daughter Devon will be in Coupeville Elementary. Also, Amber is a substitute teacher and volunteer here at Coupeville Elementary school. I was raised in Ephrata and Yakima, then went to college at the University of Washington in which I received degrees in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. I was a part of the Cross Country and Track team there for 5 years and was able to participate in National Collegiate Championships one year in cross country in which we finished 8th place. After finishing my degrees at U.W., I entered dental school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. My wife and I came back to Washington to be closer to family after finishing dental school. I have been a dentist in Oak Harbor for the past 17 plus years.
Tell me how you came to be involved in Circumnavigate Whidbey
The reason why I really love the adventure of circumnavigate was the opportunity to combine my love of exercise with the opportunity to help raise money for our kids in this community. They deserve every bit of resources that we can give them. It feels like school districts are perennially underfunded. Plus, it is always a memorable adventure with James as we have been friends for quite a long time and I wanted to support him. We have had many other adventures together and it never gets old. We try to keep each other out of the hospital but we all know plans go awry! In addition, Whidbey Island is one of the most beautiful places on earth and it is so amazing to travel around the island and take in the scenery biking or running or hiking, or kayaking, swimming, etc.
Are there any examples you can give of how the amazing Coupeville School District Teachers and Staff have made a difference for your families life? Why is raising money to support schools so impactful?
The teachers are amazing in Coupeville! I have never once heard any of my children say they had a bad day in school! They always look forward to school and talk about how amazing their teachers are all the time, even when my youngest had her mother (Amber) as a teacher for a couple months! They talk about Science Club, Young Authors, Readers are Leaders, music concerts, sports activities, talent shows, etc.