Matt grew up in and around Richmond, VA, and graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studies (concentration in Environmental Education) in 2004. During college, he had internships with the National Wildlife Federation, the National Zoo & Aquarium Association, and the Prince William Clean Community Council. After graduation, Matt spent three years as a traveling outreach educator with Discovery Creek Children’s Museum, teaching at schools in every neighborhood of the DMV, as well as schools in NY, NJ, PA, LA, and NM. That time traveling and meeting so many different students and teachers taught him a lot about the beautiful diversity of educational approaches available, but left him feeling a little bit like a flash in the pan in terms of his actual impact on young people, so he began teaching full-time as the Founding Science Teacher at a new charter school here in DC in 2007. He stayed and taught science (and a year of geography) for ten years, and spent one year as the school’s Lower School Coordinator, before he found his way to Two Rivers.
Matt has always been fascinated and inspired by the kind of learning that happens at Two Rivers, and has been dabbling in Expeditionary Learning concepts even years before he had heard of the term. Since he was little, he learned best by doing, by getting his hands dirty, by working collaboratively, and by doing work that has real-world relevance. He believes deeply in the universality and power of every day curiosity, and works to leverage that in his students, whether in science, social studies, crew – whatever. There are questions to be asked literally everywhere, and he believes there is something interesting to be found if you scratch nearly any surface.
His hero growing up was Jane Goodall, but since then he’s added his wife, professor Anna Habib, Carl Sagan, Kurt Vonnegut, Bill Strickland, Neil deGrasse-Tyson, Justin Wren, and several of his students to that list. He is an avid martial artist, yogi, reader, dog-lover, low carb/paleo eater, husband, and adoptive father of three of his former students.