University of Tennessee – Chattanooga
Where do you live and what is your profession?
I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I help manage the marketing and ecommerce for Prodigy Disc, which is a disc golf manufacturer.
How did St. George’s prepare you for college, career, and life?
Pursuing different interests was something that felt easy to do at St. George's. Some of that came through filling in different electives that were outside of the required curriculum, and some of that came through extracurriculars, so wherever you are, I'd certainly encourage you to explore. Crafting a diverse skillset and unlocking different passions in classroom, athletic, and social settings prepared me to be versatile, which is something I was able to build on as I moved into college and a career. Each different skill can open a door to a new path, and as you continue to hone those skills, there are other doors to walk through. You also gain a lot of different perspectives when you explore different avenues. I got to hear and experience a lot of people's stories while sharing my own at SGIS. I'd say that's the life preparation because in class, work, the grocery store, or wherever, you're going to continue to interact with different people, and even getting a little piece of their story can help you understand them and inform how you connect with them.
I played baseball and wrestled, was involved in theatre productions, and did a bit of student government.
Which teacher had the greatest impact on you and why?
I was incredibly fortunate to have good relationships with a lot of teachers and coaches, which makes this very difficult. It was also one of my favorite things about my high school experience. But the greatest impact I'd say came from Scott Duff. He had more confidence in me than I did. He was genuine and authentic and encouraged me to be the same. And who doesn't need a little laughter? He could definitely provide that at any given moment. Whether he cared about getting the best out of us was never in doubt, and he poured his whole soul into teaching.
Wrestling was really difficult but super rewarding because of that challenge. I wrestled all four years, and with it being a fairly small team, we were pretty close which made our trips a lot of fun. I laughed to tears often with those guys. There were a lot of fun shenanigans, but we also had some really good years on the mat and won the State Invitational title senior year, so that was a cool punctuation mark.
What advice would you give to St. George’s students or young alumni today?
There are a lot of opportunities and places to put a "perfect" filter on your life, and I'd just encourage you not to. That's not to say don't celebrate when things are going well -- by all means throw a party. It's simply to say that it's ok go talk through the struggles, too. None of us have this life thing figured out, so you'll come to realize that more you talk about those hard days, the more you'll see you're not alone. It will transform the relationships in your life through fulfilling conversations, too. Even in fun, positive conversations you can look past the standard, "I'm fine, thanks. You?" I was once challenged to avoid that phrase for a week, and I'd challenge you to do the same!