My name is "Danny the Teacher" or "Captain." I grew up in Vienna, Virginia until I was almost 16 years-old. In August 1999, my family moved to Mesa, Arizona, where my parents, 2 of my 3 sisters and 2 of my 5 brothers live. That's right: BIG FAMILY. I graduated from UVU in 2008 with a degree in History, Education and Military Science. In 2011, I completed a lot of graduate work for an endorsement in special education and in 2013, I graduated from BYU with a Master's degree in Educational Leadership (yeah, me, certified to be a principal...how scary is that???). Never satisfied with my current education, I am actively pursuing an endorsement in gifted & talented education from BYU, a doctorate in history from the University of Utah, and I'm taking online classes from S.U.U. I do have ADHD and refuse to allow that to limit me in doing what I believe I can do and neither should you allow any other "label" to define you. I consider myself a dynamic and entertaining teacher, but I learn more from my students than what I attempt to teach. I LOVE having fun and bringing history to life and connecting it for you.
I have been married for 10 years to my sweetheart and soulmate, "Kelly the BOMB-MOM." We have 4 kids, 1 dog named Captain (a German Shepherd) and another child on the way, coming in March 2017. We love being together and doing everything together as a couple and family. I take great pride in them and you will be honored to meet them many times throughout the year. We love camping, gardening, exploring, road trips, cruises, Park City, running, biking, 4-wheeling, swimming, "squatching" (looking for Bigfoot), decorating (helllooo...look at my classroom!), going to movies and being together. We experience the greatest joy when we are together so you name the activity and as long as we're together, we'll be happy. Getting married has been the greatest blessing in my life and having children is the next best and greatest blessing.
Being a teacher was the LAST thing I wanted to do. In high school, I took a test called the ASVAB and scored in the 99th percentile and then took a couple other tests that would help me identify a career and each of them came up with two: Military service and Firefighting. I began training and conditioning to enlist in the military through the ROTC program at UVU/BYU and becoming a US Army Ranger (I was told, based on my scores, I would be a lock). I passed all physical tests and exceeded expectations on those and other tests, but something was not right and I felt compelled that that was not what I was supposed to do. It is was a difficult crossroads for me. I then went to plan B: Be a firefighter. I entered the fire academy in Provo, Utah in 2006 and had gone through a great deal of mental, physical and academic training and preparation only to have that same compelling feeling that firefighting was not the course I should take, either. So the two top things I was best suited for and qualified to do were not what I was supposed to do and that was a difficult reality for me. I then began taking more history classes and had no idea what I would do with a degree in history until it dawned on me that the only thing you can do with such a degree is teach. So I started taking education classes and found out that teaching is pretty cool. Connecting with, acting like, and reaching teenagers with powerful lessons was awesome. So that's what I have been doing since 2009. It's funny because I got a 17 on my ACT, a 2.9 GPA when I graduated high school and was told that college "wasn't for me." With a chip on my shoulder I've been on a mission to prove that counselor and those teachers wrong that assumed I couldn't do it because of ADHD, poor GPA and poor ACT scores that I indeed could do it and do it masterfully. With one graduate degree from BYU and a 4.0 GPA in that program, a 2nd graduate program almost completed with a 3.9 GPA established, and in pursuit of a PH.D. from the U, I'd say I've been successful and proving my doubters wrong.