This is my 21st year at Highlands High School, where I teach British Lit 12, AP Lit & Comp 12, and Multimedia Design. I’m also the Yearbook and Newspaper Advisor.
In my spare time, I enjoy grading essays, watching the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Steelers, and buying more books than I could ever hope to read. I travel as often as I can, and spend a lot of time in ice rinks across the area watching my son play hockey. My family is very important to me. My son Eliot attends CCAC North Side, my son Holden is a sophomore at Montour High School, and my wife Melissa Pearlman is the principal of Pgh Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) downtown.
I came to Highlands after finishing my Masters of Art & Teaching (MAT) in English at The University of Pittsburgh. I started teaching at the middle school (before the renovation)! I spent a couple years there before moving to the high school. I’ve taught all levels of English but focus mainly on senior English as well as AP Lit. & Comp. 12. I have been an AP Essay Reader numerous times over the years. Last year I was part of the AP Reading that scored the online/covid scores too. In addition to my teaching duties at Highlands, I also have taught both undergrad and graduate classes at Carlow University.
I believe that education is about challenging people to see the world in a way they never imagined before, using dialogue and discussion. I view the literature that we read and discuss in our class as an opportunity to grow. Tim O’Brien wrote, “A good piece of fiction, in my view, does not offer solutions. Good stories deal with our moral struggles, our uncertainties, our dreams, our blunders, our contradictions, our endless quest for understanding. Good stories do not resolve the mysteries of the human spirit but rather describe and expand upon those mysteries.” That sums up my goal for reading literature.