Broome County, A Good Life
The opportunities I’ve had in Broome County are truly to thank for my education, my spouse, three wonderful kids and a rewarding career.
I’m originally from Walton, New York, which is in the Oneonta area. I attended King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania before coming to Binghamton University in 2002 to pursue my Master’s in Teaching.I met my wife in graduate school at BU as she was finishing up the program I was starting. She’s a Broome native and, ironically, went through the Union-Endicott Central School District, where I’ve had the privilege of working since 2013 as a Principal and Assistant Superintendent.
Originally, I taught at Vestal High School from 2004 to 2010 after finishing my Master’s Degree. After completing my administrative certificate, I had the chance to move into administration in Vestal at age 30. In 2013, the Principalship at George F. Johnson Elementary School in Union-Endicott opened and it was a terrific opportunity.
When we met, my wife was teaching in Maine-Endwell at Homer Brink Elementary School – another wonderful place to be. In 2004, however, she decided to move to New York City and taught in Manhattan for two years. That was a unique experience for us both.
I frequently visited her and she came home to visit me, but at that point, we knew we were going to get engaged and eventually get married, so we had to make a big decision: do I move downstate to New York City or does she move back upstate to Broome County?When you’re in your mid-twenties, living in New York City, or in that area, has a spectacular allure. It’s enticing, but it’s not the place where we wanted to lay down our roots. In June 2006, she moved back to Broome County and was fortunate to be teaching back in Maine-Endwell.
The biggest factor in our choice to settle down in Broome County was the affordability of the housing. In February 2005, I was able to buy a starter house as a first year teacher here – we knew we weren’t going to find that downstate. We were also able to save a little bit of money, which is very challenging downstate on teachers’ salaries.
The affordability of the area fit our economic situation perfectly and what we wanted to do, which was get married and start a family. I’m so thankful we made the decision years ago. Had we not made that crucial decision, so much of our current life would not have come to fruition.
I can’t emphasize enough how Binghamton University’s presence in our backyard has been an accelerant for my life and career. Not only did I meet my wife there, but I was able to complete the Doctorate in Educational Theory and Practice degree six days before our third child was born.
Currently, I have the opportunity to teach prospective school administrators in BU’s educational leadership program. Being able to take classes at a world-class university with affordable tuition has been a tremendous investment for my life and career.That choice we made to settle down here has also allowed our children to grow up with family all around since my parents, siblings, as well as some extended family, are nearby. I wouldn’t trade our children getting to live close to our family for anything. My parents currently live in Johnson City, my wife’s parents live in Endwell, and my sister lives in the Chenango Forks area.
To have that closeness and be able to pursue my personal and professional goals – it’s priceless.
If I had to go back and ask myself, “What do you want to be doing in ten years?” I wouldn’t have thought, in my wildest dreams, it would be this good, this soon.
Broome County is a place you can lay roots down for the long-term. You might make more money in a bigger city, but this is a place where you can save and invest for your kids and their future, in addition to enjoying a great life now.You have the ability to have a manageable mortgage and a nice home here, surrounded by high quality school districts and great pockets of communities, like in Chenango Forks and Valley, Vestal, Endwell, Endicott, Binghamton and beyond.
Getting to go home to my wife, kids and everything we have each day, is indescribable. I don’t know if I would have all of this, at this point in my life, anywhere but Broome County.