I am from Southeastern Ohio, born and raised in Marietta, Ohio. I have been a school teacher, principal and interim superintendent. I have an undergraduate degree from Ohio University in Special Education focusing on several cognate areas and certifications/licensures including emotional disturbance, intellectual disabilities (mild to severe), learning disabilities, autism and physical/orthopedic and other health impairments. I attended graduate school at Ohio University to earn a graduate degree in School Administration (focus on Supervision).
Later, I became interested in the psycho-social aspect of disability (mental health/dual diagnosis -intellectual disabilities and mental illness) and also earned another graduate degree in Counseling (Master’s) and a PhD. in Rehabilitation Services from The Ohio State University. My dissertation focused on high school transition aged youth and leadership.
I am also a nationally certified Rehabilitation Counselor as well as a licensed professional counselor in West Virginia and Ohio. I am an approved licensed professional supervisor (ALPS) in West Virginia as well. I am long time advocate for disability rights, and have served on the Disability Rights of Ohio board (founding member), Chair of the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (now Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities), and am the past chair of the Ohio State Advisory Panel for Exceptional Children and the State Council for Exceptional Children – Teacher Education Division. I am also a certified instructor in Mental Health First Aid for adults, youth and teens. Please click on MHFA tab to find out more about training opportunities.
When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling the globe and coaching swimming. I have coached competitive swimming for 30+ years (several regional and national champions and TOP 16 national swimmers) and am currently a volunteer friend of the BUCKEYES for The Ohio State University Buckeye Men’s team. I enjoy walking, reading, research, and hanging with friends and family. I have authored journal articles about Appalachian Culture and counselor competencies and had a book come out spring 2016 where I served as a Contributor. The book focuses on Disability Pride and the cycle it takes for one to become more accepting of their own disability. I am a chapter author for the new Rehabilitation Counseling (academic textbook) Currently I am in the process of writing children's books and a memoir. I speak around the world on disability, mental health and culture issues. My wife and I have a daughter and son who is deceased.