I feel that I am a part of molding well-rounded students and citizens of tomorrow.
Director of Physical Education
What three adjectives would you use to describe your classroom?
My class should be inclusive and safe for all. Students should engage in critical thought and discovery. Students should learn through play – when it's fun, it sticks.
What do you love about Shipley?
I love the students and the teaching environment. I love the fact that we do not have a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and that the class sizes are small enough to give more individualized instruction.
What inspired you to choose education?
I subscribe to the notion that education is the ultimate social, economical, and diversity equalizer. Seasoned educators, who I was fortunate to learn from, inspired me to be my best and do my best work despite my background. I, too, want to pick up that same torch to light the way as I guide young minds through the maze of this ever-changing, complex world.
What is your favorite lesson, project or activity? Why?
As a PE teacher, I love teaching small-sided modified games. Smaller-sided games not only allow for more contact among participants, leading to great skill acquisition, but they also increase decision-making, which fosters critical thinking and greater problem-solving. As a math teacher in the Middle School, I love teaching jeopardy lessons. Modeled after the TV game, I formulate questions whose answers are rewarded by points. The great thing about this lesson is that students are learning through play and do not realize that they are working really hard at an amazing speed.
What is your year-end goal for every student who walks into your classroom?
Each student should demonstrate respect for themselves and others. Students would be able to seek out opportunities that promote inclusion and graciously accept outcomes in competitive situations. Most of all, students should leave excited and eager to return.
What made you choose Shipley?
To best answer this question, I would like to flip the question to, why stay at Shipley? I think the sound, highly supportive, administrative leadership are a major retention piece for me. I love the students here, who are hardworking and always willing to challenge themselves. The innovative curriculum challenges students and fosters critical thinking. I love the sports program and the emphasis on tactical and skill development over outcomes of winning and losing. I feel that I am a part of molding well-rounded students and citizens of tomorrow.
Are you married and/or have children?
Married to a wonderful woman and educator, Dr. Harriet Okatch, and have two children Jasmyne and Jaison.
Where was the best vacation you ever had?
A safari in Botswana in a place called Chobe National Park. The drive up was what captured it for me. As we approached the Park, as my daughter would later narrate it “there we were, minding our own business and outcomes this elephant from nowhere.” It was an awesome sight that was only surpassed by watching a herd of elephants crossing a river – literally tail to trunk.
What is your favorite quote?
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.