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Facebook: Rockville Patch
Hometown: Rockville, MD
Birthday: June 3, 1977
Born in Washington, DC (at the now-closed Columbia Hospital for Women in Northwest), I've lived in four different Rockville ZIP codes on and off through my life.
I am the son of two retired Montgomery County Public School teachers, the brother of a current MCPS middle school counselor and the brother-in-law of an MCPS instructional specialist. My father taught physical education at Ritchie Park and Sequoyah elementary schools, among other schools in the county, and coached soccer at Thomas S. Wootton, Albert Einstein and Col. Zadok Magruder high schools. My mother taught Head Start at Rock Creek Valley Elementary and kindergarten at Sequoyah as part of a career as an elementary teacher in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
I attended Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary in Rockville before graduating from Sherwood High in Sandy Spring in 1995. I am a 1999 graduate of Penn State University and—not surprisingly to anyone who knows a Penn Stater—I am a big Nittany Lion fan.
I spent 10 years at the Gazette, first as a community reporter covering Poolesville and Gaithersburg and then, for three years, as an education reporter covering MCPS, Montgomery College, the University System of Maryland and state and national education issues. From 2007 to 2010, I covered four sessions of the Maryland General Assembly as a political writer for the Gazette of Politics and Business and the Gazette's regional section.
My reporting resume includes covering the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the 22-day siege of the Washington metro area by snipers, several elections, the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. and the gubernatorial administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley.
My wife, Nicole and I were married in August 2009 in State College, Pa. (WE ARE! both Penn Staters.) We recently bought a home in unincorporated Rockville.
In our free time we enjoy hanging out with friends and family and watching sports (all the home teams, especially the Nationals, Capitals and Redskins, as well as our beloved Nittany Lions).
I am also an avid softball player and, as a former college radio deejay, enjoy taking in live music at venues around the region.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for you to inject your beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that your beliefs are on the record will cause you to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know.
How would you describe your political beliefs?
How religious would you consider yourself? (casual, observant, devout, non religious)
Like the common wisdom about bar conversation, as a journalist, I try not to talk about my views on politics or religion. For people who see that I hail from the liberal bastion of Montgomery County and assume they know my political stripes, I tell them that four years of college in Central Pennsylvania and another four years covering the General Assembly in Annapolis acquainted me well with voters not often seen in Montgomery County, including those who might be considered exotic political animals here—Republicans.
Local Hot-Button Issues
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
With one of the best-educated populations in the nation, schools are always an important issue for Maryland voters. The future health of Montgomery County Public Schools as a changing school board chooses a new superintendent will be heavily scrutinized.
The tug-of-war between the need for affordable housing and concerns over school overcrowding, compounded by the frustration that the city's boundaries aren't the same as those of its schools seem to be a spark to ignite frequent debate among the Rockville's mayor and council and city residents.
Elsewhere, need I say RedGate? (I didn't think so.) As long as the golf course stays in the red it will be a subject of contention between those who think it is a lead weight dragging the city's budget to the bottom of a water hazard and those who see it as a community asset emblematic of Rockville's high quality of life.
In a region with people as politically, socially and environmentally conscious — and passionate — as they are here in the nation's capital I'm sure there's plenty to learn. That's where you come in.
What are you passionate about? What should Rockville Patch be covering? Let me know.