ConVal High School





"People are not ignorant for what they do not know,
rather they are ignorant for what they know that is not true."

Michael O'Leary





"We are all drugged by our own frenzy."

Ralph Waldo Emerson




"The true teacher defends his pupils against his own influence....
He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit which quickens him."
Amos Bronson Alcott



"We should be as discreet in our actions as we are in our confessions."

Michel de Montaigne









About Mr. O

     It might prove useful to know something about me, as I will be learning about each of you in this course. I was born and bred in Merrimack, NH. In high school I enjoyed playing sports and studying math and science, especially physics. I played basketball and baseball (the only two sports offered) and was the first person from Merrimack to score 1000 points.

     This is my 28th year of teaching. I attended UNH and graduated from Keene State College in 1976. I earned a masters degree in education from Antioch New England graduate school in 1992. I teach courses at Antioch in the summer. I was drafted into the United States Army in 1969 and served as a military policeman in Heidelberg, Germany. I spent 20 years working both full and part time as a surveyor.

     I student taught at ConVal in 1976 and was hired that summer as a full time teacher. I teach Sophomore English, Journalism, Mystery and Crime, American Literature and Philosophy. I enjoy listening to what students think about literature and life, and I enjoy long, respectful and honest class discussions.

     I live at 15 Winter Street in Peterborough with my wife Betsy, who is a thrid grade teacher/assistant principal at Troy Elementary School. I have two sons, Marcus who graduated from ConVal in 2002 and Lucas who is a member of the class of 2005 at Conval. I enjoy reading, writing and gardening. I have been trying to figure out how to use computers well in my classes and this website is an example of that. I am the website coordinator for the high school and I am the advisor to the school newspaper.

     I believe in the life of the mind. I embrace the idealism of Plato, the Stoicism of Seneca, the humanity of Montaigne and enthusiasm for life of Emerson. I believe in people and in education. I think that people need to be educated more now than ever before and that education is the key to personal improvement and contentment. I enjoy reading the histories of civilizations. I am currently reading Caesar and Christ by Will Durant. I read Robert B. Parker mysteries for fun. I occasionally write columns for The Keene Sentinel and The ConVal Current.

     To me, the best classes are ones that have students who are prepared for class, who are willing to share their thoughts and work, and who respect their classmates. Great classes bond in hard work and achievement and the students are willing to take chances to pursue quality. I hope this is such a class.