By Tony Hooker
Where did you grow and go to high school?
Growing up I attended school in Mississippi, Michigan, and Illinois. I graduated from Huntley High School in 2000. In high school I played football, ran track, and acted in the school musicals.
When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
It was a long process. I graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Political Science, but I’ve always enjoyed working with young people. It was while working with youth at Cunningham Children’s Home in Urbana as a job coach in the schools and community that I felt I could contribute more to my students in the regular classroom setting. I love History and Social Studies, so I completed the teacher licensure program with a concentration in history/social studies at Eastern Illinois University. I am currently halfway through EIU’s graduate program for History.
Why did you decide you wanted to become a teacher?
Like the song says “When you get where you’re going don’t forget to turn back around and help the next one in line…” I hope to help our future leaders ask salient questions, conduct quality research, and articulate their thoughts to others effectively and respectfully.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like traveling, building backyard tree forts and ziplines with my kids, watching movies, hiking, trail riding, trying new restaurants, and dreaming of the end of COVID-19.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
I come from a pretty tight family. Their continued support and influence mean the world to me.
One thing that your students should know about you?
I’m a pretty big Elvis fan, but really who isn’t?!