I am a United States Navy Veteran. While in the Navy I trained for two years in Orlando, FL and Ballston Spa, NY as an Electronics Technician and Nuclear Power Plant Operator. Following this extensive training, I spent 3 years on board USS Bainbridge (CGN-25) a Nuclear Powered Guided Missile Cruiser where I was certified to operator both of its nuclear power plants. I finished my six year tour with a year on USS Enterprise (CVN-65) where I was part of the refueling process for all 8 of its nuclear reactors. Most of you know the Enterprise is an Aircraft Carrier not a starship boldly going where no one has gone before. I have been in every major ocean and 5 continents. I often tell people that I have been to Antarctica because I have seen ice flows off the coast and that is close enough to count and that would make 6 continents. I have traveled through both the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal and been around the tip of South America. I have crossed the equator twice, once in the Atlantic and once in the Pacific and am a proud Shellback after the first crossing. I spent a 6 month tour in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm, did several counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and participated in joint operations with the Russian navy in the North Sea during the worst storms I have ever seen where I also received my Bluenose certificate. This is a period of my life that I am very proud of and would not trade for anything.
Once I left the service, I spent a couple of years trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. During this time, I waited tables at Red Lobster in Chattanooga and Dalton where I met my wife Jennifer Brandon Sacca who is also a new teacher at Walker Valley teaching Biology in the Humanities Academy. We have two children Cole and Sydney to add to a much older child from a previous marriage, Matthew. Our oldest is a successful IT help desk manager for a major rehabilitation center based out of Chattanooga. Cole is a new freshman at Walker Valley and Sydney just began her 6th grade year at Lake Forest.
I did eventually figure out what I wanted to do and moved into a middle management role in a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, TN. I spent 11 years there where I was involved in production management, process improvement, and machine programming. With the excellent leadership at that company, I was given many opportunities to expand my knowledge in all things manufacturing and really dive into continuous improvement and process engineering projects. I also learned the first of what turned out to be many programming languages, Visual Basic, and used that excellent tool to develop proprietary software for the company in several areas of the operation.
After 11 years, I had reached a bit of plateau in my career and an opportunity came open in Cleveland that I could not pass up. It also happened to be located very close to home which was even better. I spent 10 years with this latest company doing much of the same things I had done before but with a greater opportunity for advancement. I was able to expand upon my processing knowledge and learn several more programming languages. I was also able to delve deeper into Autocad and get my first taste of Solidworks which is the pinnacle of 3D design software on the market today and the one your students will spend a lot of time learning in my classes. I learned PLC system design and programming and designed and installed a SCADA system. Before leaving the company, I was able to reach the height of local manufacturing management when I was promoted to Plant Manager.
This spring, my employment with this great company came to an end. Clearly all things in our lives have a purpose behind them. At the same time one door was closing, this door at Walker Valley was opening. My wife and I both know Mrs. Miles, the previous Engineering teacher quite well and her departure for Nashville left a void at Walker Valley right when I needed a new direction. I have always dreamed of being a high school teacher going back to my own days in high school as a Chattanooga Central Purple Pounder, but life and career choices to this point in my life led me in a different direction and as much as I will always treasure my time in manufacturing with its challenges and rewards, I truly feel like I am where I was always meant to be. I will forever be thankful to Mr. Akiona and the rest of the Walker Valley administration for providing me with this opportunity.
I sincerely believe that my many years spent in manufacturing coupled with the discipline gained through my Navy experience, will bring a different perspective to my students in particular and to all of the students at Walker Valley. I want nothing more than for all of our children to succeed in whatever direction their lives may take and I hope that my own experience and teaching can help them to make the best decisions and encourage them to reach beyond their dreams.
Thank you for the opportunity to touch the lives of your children and for entrusting me with them if only for a short while. I hope that I enrich their lives and they will be able to look fondly back on their time with me and say Mr.Sacca was a little crazy but he was kind of cool and I learned something along the way.
Looking forward to an awesome year!!!