by Alex Holmes and Taylor Webster
Murch Blue and Gold student reporters
We visited his office three times to learn more about the man known as Mr. C. Here are excerpts from our
Q: Where did you go to elementary school?
A: Good Shepherd School in Chicago
Q: What were you like in elementary school?
A: I was in student council, in sports, and I was a good student.
Q: What was your favorite subject?
Q: Why did you like it best?
A: Because you got to do stuff, and use your hands.
Q: What was your least favorite subject, and why?
A: Math. It was just too boring. And I didn’t understand it well.
Q: Did you ever get in trouble in school?
A: Yes, I did because I made a joke the teacher didn’t like.
Q: As a kid, what did you dream of becoming?
A: I thought I would be the President at one time.
Q: Where did you go to college and what did you study there?
A: I had three different degrees; Western Illinois University for my teaching degree, DePaul University for my administration degree, and DePaul again for my doctoral work in leadership.
Q: What was your first job?
A: A pizza maker at age 14.
Q: What were your jobs after that?
A: My first job (of) teaching was in 8th grade.W hile I was teaching, I sold jewelry. I (also) was an assistant principal, and a vice president for an education company.
Q: How did you happen to come to Murch as principal?
A: I came here because I wanted to work in a city. I was applying for another job, but they asked if I wanted to be a principal.
Q: Why did you want to become an elementary school principal?
A: To try to find a way to help teachers to become really good at what they do, so that kids would get the best possible education they could get.
Q: What change at Murch have you done that you’re most proud of?
A: I think that the change that I’m probably most proud of is a change that will be coming. And that change is going to be how teachers get trained to develop their skills.
Q: Exactly what skills need to be developed?
A: How to teach in small groups and use data to make decisions about teaching.
Q: What are your some of your goals for both yourself and for Murch?
A: That every child passes the DCCAS (District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System). A goal for myself would be to write a book about my ideas about teaching and learning.
Q: If you weren’t a principal, what would you be doing right now?
A: I know exactly. I would be a chef in one of the most incredible restaurants in Chicago or New York or San Francisco. Executive chef, not just the regular chef. I’d like to have my own cooking show.
Q: What do you cook at home?
A: Chicken stir-fry, I enjoy grilling (steak) and making breakfast.
Q: Tell us about your parents and your immediate family.
A: My parents are both deceased. Dad worked in a machine shop and Mom was a police deputy. My parents were busy looking after 11 kids. My oldest sister is 70, and most of my siblings live in Chicago.
Q: What do you like about Murch?
A: I really like the building the way it is now. It has some great old architecture. I love the neighborhood. It reminds me a lot of my childhood (in Chicago).
The first teaching job I had in Chicago (was in a school) that had a gym almost exactly like the gym here. The same type of ceiling with the molding and the stage and the wooden floor. It’s just very cool.
Q: What changes in the building would you recommend?
A: Cafeteria, bigger gym, additional classrooms – and a bathroom in the principal’s office.
Alex and Taylor are two of the nine fifth graders who worked on Murch Elementary’s student newspaper this spring. The Blue and Gold has given us permission to share the articles with our readers.