Michael grew up in Meridian Idaho and was immersed in sports and the great outdoors from an early age. His favorite memories include mowing his grandparent’s lawn in exchange for some cash, rootbeer, and stories of life in rural America. After playing football for a year at Santa Barbara City College, Michael got homesick and moved back to Idaho, fighting fires in the summer and chasing ducks in the winter. He soon stumbled upon an ad to work for the Minnesota and Iowa Conservation Corps, and in hindsight, is what compelled him into a future with cheerful expectation.
With some grant money from the Conservation Corps, he enrolled at a university on the prairie of southwest Minnesota and completed his bachelors degree in Environmental Science. To get through schooling, he worked as both a farmhand, a youth sports coach, and as a resource at a library/study center on campus. It was at this library, which catered toward education majors, that gave Michael an imagination for a career as a teacher. After internships at both Conservation districts and watershed districts, he applied as a paraprofessional at a local public school while also coaching their Junior High baseball team and serving lunches to students.
Gravitating back again to Idaho, Michael looked for a spot on the map that offered the best hiking, fly-fishing, and snowboarding opportunities, and moved promptly to the Wood River Valley after taking a job as a youth coordinator at the Wood River YMCA. Around this time Michael started a company called Luke2Nature premised off the broaden and build theory to make outdoor education exciting by means of treasure hunts, garden poetry, and children’s books on nature. After seeing an ad as a substitute teacher at Syringa Mountain School, he applied and was soon introduced to the high caliber teachers at Syringa, and the Waldorf teaching method. When the Farm and Garden position opened up, it appeared like a path was stretching out smooth before him, and he now feels so blessed to do work that provides meaningful outcomes in the beloved Wood River Valley.