I hope that my students come away from our time together with a sense of responsibility for their own actions. Success in all endeavors depends strongly on a student taking initiative, making decisions, and adhering to personal values.”

John’s Story

Teaching Discipline


Why Biology

“One of my favorite parts of learning science is discovering connections between phenomena; biology is, to me, the most interconnected of all the sciences. Principles of physics and chemistry are fundamental to biological processes and systems, but come together to comprise something greater than the sum of the parts . . . life.”

Professional Experience

At the University of Illinois, John completed a thesis on the ecological and evolutionary functions of bumble bee color patterns. He was a teaching assistant for the animal biology course and began doing science outreach work with insects. At Illinois, John also became interested in the Nature of Science and how it was taught in educational settings. He continues to collaborate on various Nature of Science research projects.

John taught at the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience (CSMB), a beginning magnet school in St. Louis, from August 2015 to May 2017. He participated in much of the formative work in the new school’s science department, including setting up new lab spaces, creating course maps, and designing curriculum for biology and AP Biology. John was CSMB’s first teacher of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Human Body Systems course, and worked as part of the team that achieved the school’s first accreditation from PLTW.

John began teaching science at Festus High School during the 2017-2018 school year, where he is working with his department to adapt instruction to meet the expectations of the Next Generation Science Standards.


John enjoys reading science fiction, collecting insects in the Ozark woods and spending time with his wife and son.

Academic Background

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Master of Science in Entomology)
  • Missouri State University (Bachelor of Science in Biology Education)
  • Missouri State University (Bachelor of Science in Biology)