Jim is a high school science and culinary arts teacher at Phoenix High School. The path to his education career came from his love for the outdoors, which the Willow Witt ranch was very much a part of. His first experience at the Willow Witt Ranch was working as a ranch hand while he was finishing college in 2006.
Jim then went on to become an assistant forester, fostering a connection to the many wild places southern Oregon has to offer. His path would eventually lead him to a career in education, first as an environmental educator around the Rogue Valley leading field trips for various organizations, then into the classroom with a goal to get students out into nature. After completing his master’s degree, he taught two years of middle school science in Eagle Point.
Jim’s path took a turn after he took a year off from education to help a friend open up a restaurant in the Bay Area. During his time in California he was exposed to the birthplace of the farm to school movement, and knew immediately that the garden was the perfect place to learn and he needed to find a way to connect all of his passions. It just so happened a year later Phoenix High School would be hiring a part time science, part time culinary teacher. Jim took the job with the promise that he could start a garden at the high school and is now in his sixth year of teaching culinary arts and science through a local lens. When Jim is not in the classroom, he is out experiencing nature via gardening, hiking, biking, running or surfing.