Job title: Upper and Middle School English teacher (grades 6 and 9); Upper School Creative Writing teacher; Upper/Middle School Assistant Cross Country Coach. He has also coached Middle School soccer.
Years teaching at Prep: 4
Family: Wife - Emma Kate.
Background: Matt grew up in Laurel, Miss., about halfway between New Orleans, La., and Tuscaloosa, Ala. He attended Mississippi State for his undergraduate and master's degrees in English before heading to Western Michigan University to obtain his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree. He and his wife, Emma Kate, who first met at Mississippi State, lived in Michigan when she got a job at Augusta University. They headed south during the midst of the 2020 Covid pandemic. She works there now as a Data Governance Coordinator.
How he found Prep: When his wife found a job at Augusta University, Matt started looking for teaching gigs in the area. Just before the 2020-2021 school year started at Augusta Prep, he received a call from Head of Middle School Monica Messner.
"Are you real? Are you local?" she asked.
Matt, who had been teaching online, was hired with a weekend to prepare for the school year and his first in-person teaching gig.
What he enjoys about English: Matt said he grew in a very literary family, his two older sisters reading to him every night as a youth. Reading is in his blood, but he also enjoys the writing process.
"What I really love is creative writing. I love reading books. I really love literature." Matt added Cormac McCarthy and Margaret Atwood are two of his favorite writers, while Sylvia Plath and Frank Stanford are two of his favorite poets. Matt said he's written poetry and is planning future creative writing projects.
What he enjoys about Prep: "I really like the creative freedom I get. I get told yes a lot when I change books out and mix up the curriculum. This year, I changed up sixth grade. Next year, I'm going to change up ninth grade.
"And I really like being around kids and games and chess and ping pong, things I grew up playing, and running and soccer."
Hobbies: Running, reading, writing and chess are four of his interests, with running being a main focus. He grew up running cross country and playing soccer. A year ago - with inspiration from Upper School English teacher Joseph Lutz - Matt began running every day. He ramped up his running and recently ran a 53k event (32.93 miles). On December 9, Matt and fellow Prep teacher, Ben Finlan, will run in the Kiawah Island Marathon. Matt's sister lives in Boston, so he wants to ultimately qualify for the Boston Marathon.
"That's going to be a two-year goal for me," he said. "I've got to get a lot faster. The endurance is there."
Augusta Preparatory Day School is an independent, college preparatory school serving children ages 2 through Grade 12 from the greater Augusta-Aiken area. Augusta Prep seeks to enroll a group of diverse students. We follow an open admission policy, whereby qualified candidates are admitted without regard to religion, race, nationality, economic background, or ethnic origin.