In 1965, after graduating from a SUNY College, I began teaching social studies in a small rural school in upstate New York. Over the next 32 years I receive certification as a high school principal, health teacher and teacher of special education. During a two-year hiatus from teaching in the public school system I served as a Education Coordinator for the New York State Division for Youth. In 1988 I returned to teaching and spent the last 10 years teaching an 8-1-1 high school special education class at a public high school in Northern New York. During my years at this school I was also responsible for developing, maintaining and integrating a Project Adventure site into a district wide curriculum. I retired from classroom teaching in 1998 but still was responsible for the use of the Project Adventure site.
In February 1999, while on vacation in the Caribbean I was struck by a wave which drove me to the bottom breaking four vertebrae in my neck and leaving me with quadriplegia. After six months of hospitalization and extensive therapy at Craig Hospital I was finally able to return home to begin my new life. The readjustments demanded by our new lifestyle, while extremely difficult for my wife and myself, have been made easier by the continuous support of family and friends. I approach my new daily life with Christopher Reeve’s philosophy; "I refuse to allow a disability to determine how I will live my life. I don't mean to be reckless, but setting a goal that seems a bit daunting actually is very helpful toward recovery." I have returned to many of the outdoor activities that provided me with such pleasure prior to my accident. Recently I have begun doing some motivational speaking in local schools trying to help students realize the personal strength that lies within them.