Teacher, Balloon Pilot, PHOTOGRAPHER, Opinionated

About Me

The tag line of this blog says, “Teacher, Balloon Pilot, Photographer, Opinionated.” So let me explain myself without boring you with drivel.

(1) Teacher:
In my eleventh year as a public school teacher I am now the Business Education Department Chair at Stansbury High School. I teach Business Web Page Design, Advanced Business Web Page Design (creating and designing the Stansbury High School web site), Digital Media I & II, Business Management (plus MGT 1600), TV Broadcasting I & II, Business Law, the graduation requirement Financial Literacy course and the college concurrent enrollment equivalent of the personal finance graduation requirement (FIN 1050).

I earned a BSBA (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration) degree from the University of Arkansas (Go Hogs!) in Finance, and a Masters of Education from Utah State University. During the process of learning to become a better teacher, I was asked to teach Instructional Technology for Utah State. This lead to instructing college students wanting to become teachers how to incorporate technology into their own classrooms to invigorate curriculum and engage students. I have taught INST 4010 for Utah State at the Tooele Campus and Methods, Practices and Technology (SCED 6270) at the Salt Lake Campus.

When I lived in Arkansas, I put myself through college by starting a lawn mowing business that eventually grew to a total lawn care and landscaping business that included multiple vehicles and equipment. My continuous habit of starting businesses has given me a particularly unique insight to teaching the courses in entrepreneurship, business management, business law, and finance beyond just telling students what the business schools teach.

(2) Balloon Pilot:
I bring to business education my business experience which includes starting a hot air balloon ride business in Park City and Moab, Utah. I still hold the largest commercial use permit to fly scenic flights over public lands in scenic southern Utah. When I left Utah, I kept the permit and now use it under the name Kokopelli Balloon Adventures. I am still a balloon pilot (celebrating 27 years flying in March 2013) and fly for Park City Balloon Adventures as well as creating and maintaining the company’s web site as well as managing their social networking (@ParkCityBalloon -and- Facebook). My corporate experience includes working as the director of marketing for a hot air balloon manufacturer. My position at FireFly Balloons in North Carolina involved working on ways to expand the market for a niche’ product and communicate with a global dealer network comprised of approximately 170 dealers worldwide.

(3) Photographer:
Otherwise, when I’m not immersed in educational pursuits, you’ll most likely find me hot air ballooning (duh!), whitewater rafting on the Colorado River (check out my friends Don and Denise Oblak who own Canyon Voyages in Moab, and stay with Jim and Kris at the Adventure Inn), camping, mountain biking and dabbling with photography. Well, maybe ‘dabble’ is not the correct word. I’ve been a photographer since I was twelve so my wife and I bought a $2,500 Canon camera just for a trip to Germany to add to the collection of six cameras and assorted lenses. Both of us now take pictures for recreation. I like industrial and landscapes while she shoots macro.

(4) Opinionated:
Read my blog at tomrathke.com


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