I have been blest in many ways throughout my life. My wife, Mary Jo Commerford, has been my nearest and dearest companion since we began our careers teaching in high schools, then went abroad to serve as Catholic missioners and finally moved to The Dalles, my hometown. My two daughters, Sarah and Maza, are delightful, talented, and conscientious women. Sarah and I share government involvement as she lobbies for childcare and early childhood development issues in Olympia. Maza shares my interest in technology in her work as a mechanical engineer at one of the smaller tech companies in Hood River. Both women are married and are starting families which is bringing lots of grandparent bliss to Mary Jo and me.
I have also been blest with meaningful work at every turn. Although I majored in Physics at Gonzaga University, I entered the Jesuits after graduation with the intention of becoming a Catholic priest. My seven years in the Jesuits broadened my world with experiences ranging from living on skid row in Tacoma to living in the pope’s summer palace in Italy. But instead of getting ordained, I chose to become a science teacher and got married to Mary Jo, two very wise decisions. After our daughters were born, we served as Catholic missioners in Venezuela for nine years. It was challenging and deeply rewarding work at the same time. All of us, girls included, had adventures of a lifetime and moved back to the U.S. with Venezuelan culture engrained in our hearts.
After returning to The Dalles, my home town, I have been busy teaching high school, nine years of which were at NORCOR Juvenile.
- The Dalles High School - ASB President
- Gonzaga University, B.S. Physics
- Loyola University, New Orleans, Classical and America Philosophy
- Lewis and Clark College, Master of Arts in Science Teaching
- Jesuit High School, Beaverton, OR
- Central Catholic High School, Portland, OR
- Beaverton High School
- Lewis & Clark College
- The Dalles High School