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I was born in Ashland, Ohio and lived most of my life in Ashland. I graduated from Ashland High School, Ashland University with my B.S. in Elementary Education and Ashland Theological Seminary with an M.A. in Religious Studies. While I was attending college and seminary, I paid for my college and seminary by doing janitorial work and eventually substitute teaching. After seminary, I moved to Indiana to serve as pastor of my first church, which was small, so I did some substitute teaching for one year, then found another second job outside of education. When my wife and I moved to another small church in West Virginia, I substitute taught one year, then worked as a regular fifth grade teacher for five years. When we moved to Pennsylvania for a different church, I did not do any teaching for 3 years. Upon moving to my next church in Delaware, I have worked as a substitute teacher and also 9 years as a private school teacher. My total years as a substitute teacher exceeds 13 years at this point in time.