Sean Harvey

Who are you and who are your family members?

I live with my wife Ruth and son Ian.  My wife is originally from Los Angeles and works as a planner/project manager for King County Department of Roads.  She recently learned to sail through the Center for Wooden Boats and is encouraging my son and I to take up sailing also.
 
My son Ian is a 6th grade student at Whitman Middle School.  He is a high-energy boy who talks constantly.  We have watched him blossom and mature in his first year as a middle school student.  He plays cello in the school orchestra and manages to maintain about a B average in school though we think he is capable of much more.  He also plays on his school’s Ultimate Frisbee team.
 
Ian is very active as a Boy Scout in Ballard Troop 100 where I serve as an adult leader.  Prior to becoming a Boy Scout he was a Cub Scout and I was his den leader.  He is also an avid skier (a sport he took up at age 4 with my encouragement).  We spend just about every weekend from late December to March skiing.
 
The final member of our family is our adorable Boston Terrier named Captain.  He is one of the most lovable and well-behaved dogs I have ever known.  He cuddles with us on the couch as we read or watch TV
 
How did McDonald Elementary enter your lives?
 
After 10 years of working half-time and being a part-time stay at home dad/house husband I decided to look for full-time work.  During a 10-day span in the spring of 2011 I had 5 interviews and 2 job offers.  Choosing McDonald was a no-brainer!  The chance to be part of a brand new school and one with a unique mission and offering was more than I could resist.  In the interview I felt a great connection with the staff I met.
 
What occupies your time?
 
When I am not busy with my family I spend summers day hiking and backpacking and winters cross-country and backcountry skiing.  I do this for the exercise but equally for the beauty and solace of the natural world.  I also bicycle a lot in my neighborhood.
 
I love folk music and play some guitar but mostly I enjoy listening to my 300 plus CD collection.  I am always perusing schedules of clubs such as The Tractor and The Triple Door looking for gigs to attend.
 
About 3 years ago I took up vegetable gardening.  I really enjoy watching the different plants grow and mature.  I love getting out in my yard and garden and puttering around.
 
I enjoy cooking.  Lately I have been baking bread and making waffles.
 
Our family enjoys travelling.  We really love Vancouver, BC.  Last spring we visited Paris for a week and in 2005 Amsterdam and Germany.  While in Germany we did something I had always dreamed of doing.   We spent the night in a youth hostel inside of an old castle overlooking the Rhine river.
 
What would you like our community to know about you?
 
I grew up in a family of 5 children in western Massachusetts.   I am very close with all my siblings.  I moved to Seattle over 20 years ago to be closer to big mountains.
 
I become an educator 15 years ago after previous careers in the computer and newspaper industries.  I chose this path because I felt unfulfilled/bored with my previous work.  Some days, when things aren’t going as smoothly as I would like them to, I think back to what I used to do and I am always glad I became an educator.
 
During my graduate preparation at the University of Washington to become a teacher a professor emphasized how an effective lesson plan/objective can also double as a classroom management plan.  Since then I have followed this advice and it has always worked.
 
What are your hopes for the future?
 
I want to hike in the Alps for a week or two with my family.  In 2015 my son and I hope to attend the International Scouting Jamboree in Japan. 
I am looking at getting my endorsement to teach computers/technology at the elementary level.  I would like to do this in addition to being a librarian.
 
I would like to hike all of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington and Oregon.
 
I am also holding out the possibility of some day teaching internationally.
 
Can you share a favorite or memorable elementary school moment from your past?
 
At a previous school I was the chairperson for organizing the school’s annual Young Author’s Day.  This involved a lot of work – screening singers/artists/storytellers/etc. to perform at our school – but it was a lot of fun.  One of the storytellers I hired was my mentor and an internationally acclaimed and recognized storyteller/folklorist – Margaret Read MacDonald.  At the close of an assembly several students started getting boisterous.  I glanced at the clock and realized we still had 10 minutes to go and nothing planned!   Some of the 5th graders were starting to wrestle.  My mentor was in the room.  I got up and announced I had a story to tell.  Everyone went quiet as I told the story – it was a good story and I told it well.  You could of heard a pin drop in the room.  Every eye was on me.  When I reached the end/climax the students went wide-eyed with astonishment.  My mentor walked over to me and shaking my hand said: “Nice job!”

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