Each month, the directors of Spencer Pride will be bringing you a bit of themselves. This will be a way for the directors to share a more personal side with the community. The idea for this “Director’s Corner” was discussed at our annual retreat and it was agreed that much of what is known of the directors is through an email address or a photo in the commUnity center. Sure, some directors have developed relationships with the community, but we also have new directors who are also new to the community. We hope you enjoy getting to know a bit more of the directors of Spencer Pride.
First up is John, the Marketing and External Communications Director!
Ah, the first post of the new Director’s Corner. Well, someone must go first, might as well be me!
I am a transplant to Indiana, having moved here in 2018 to pursue a relationship with someone I met online (we are still together). I lived on the East coast my whole life; there was a lot that was different, but also a lot that was the same. I have walked many paths in my life. I started working at age 14, in a tuxedo store, preparing the items to be ready for rental. I have not stopped working since (except for that pesky pandemic period). I have been a receptionist, a file clerk, a page for a library, a concession stand worker, a driver for a pharmacy, a flower shop worker, a retail manager, a business telephone technician and installer, a dispatcher for a phone company, a customer service agent for an insurance company, a leader for a student travel company, an insurance agent, a middle school teacher, a high school teacher, a college instructor, a secretary for a local union, a bookstore worker, a driver – and then a page designer – for the newspaper, an accounting specialist, and finally a payroll manager/HR coordinator. All these career paths have made me who I am today.
Along the way, I also managed to work my way through some college courses. I obtained my Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts. I am a strong advocate for starting out with an Associate degree. I believe it allows a person to truly define a path for their education, while not spending a lot of money trying to figure it out. After that, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English. There were a ton of courses mixed in there as well – I believe I changed my major three times. Then I went ahead and obtained a Master of Arts in Education concentrating in administration and supervision (this allows me to be a principal or supervisor in education). But that wasn’t enough, so I went ahead and obtained a Master of Arts in English. I also went ahead and took courses in a doctoral program, but when it came to writing the dissertation, I took a pause. Apparently, the pause was too long, because when I went back to complete the program, the college had changed the program and I was too far removed for the courses to count. So, I can say that I am an “ABD” – all but dissertation. I still can’t add Ed.D to my name, but it was a nice journey. Some might think I am boasting by listing all this education stuff here, but I really love to learn. I haven’t even included all the certificates and “just because” courses I have taken. I believe that education is the foundation of the rest of life. If we educate ourselves and others, we will be able to make the best decisions in life. It is that part of the mission of Spencer Pride that I stand behind and form all my responsibilities as director. I want to educate our community and the world.
Now to say I am an educated snob would not be accurate. While being educated and educating others is a passion, I do have a sassy, snarky side. I believe I am quick witted and funny – others might not believe the same thing. That sassy, snarky side tends to get me misunderstood. So, let me help you understand – I am passionate about things. I am an Italian man, having grown up in the 80s and 90s, from divorced parents – where I had to be “the man of the house” from a very young age. I struggled with my sexuality for far too long. When I attempt to be witty or sassy, it is not to be disrespectful, it’s just a part of who I am – like all those careers and degrees. This is something that is much different for me living in Indiana. Back East, everyone knows that the snark, the sass, the wit, is just how we talk to each other. I am like Cher in Moonstruck when she tells Nicholas Cage to “snap out of it” and then slaps him. She wasn’t intending to hurt him or be violent – it’s just an Italian thing. (Yes – I just compared myself to Cher!).
Now that you have a bit of my backstory (more to come when it is my turn again) – don’t hesitate to reach out to me or stop in the commUnity center and say hi when I work on Saturday afternoons. I promise I won’t tell you to “snap out of it!”