This past summer I was privileged with the opportunity to speak on behalf of ReesSpecht Life in front of over 400 incoming freshmen to the humanities college at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNY Stony Brook).  During the presentation I recounted the story of what happened to Rees and the acts of kindness that lead to the genesis of ReesSpecht Life.  I discussed the tenants of what we are all about and after a hopefully uplifting, 40-50 minutes, I left them all with a challenge:  To change the world with acts of kindness.

Unless you were present for my presentation you might be thinking to yourself that I left these poor students with an unachievable goal.  After all, how could 400 17-18 year old’s be expected to change the world when they themselves are still relatively new to it and so few in number?  I recall … Read More

The following poem was written by a former student of mine.  I read this and was lost in its beauty and I just had to share it.  What a beautiful tribute to my little boy, and what we are trying to do.  I challenge you to read this without tearing up…



It was not the thunder echoing through the rooms,
Nor the lightning flashing across the clouds, 
That shook me to the bone.

It was not the chilling air,
Nor the pictures of destruction of the television,
That brought tears to my eyes.


It was the fact that I would never hold him in my arms again,
That caused my bones to shake.

It was the thought of never again seeing his beautiful face,
That brought tears to my eyes.

His beautiful blue eyes,
Like the water that stole him away from me,
Would never Read More

captain reesSince Rees’ passing I have come to realize that there are no coincidences…

Today was a really rough day for me personally, and I was just not feeling the Halloween Spirit. Normally, I go all out for Halloween.  One of the many perks of being a Middle School Teacher is that I get to dress up for Halloween and act out like the big kid that I am.  Over the years my costumes have ranged from as simple as Fred Flinstone (whom I share more than a passing resemblance to) to my most complex one:  a full, home made, Optimus Prime Costume. Keeping with tradition,  this year I was supposed to be Captain America, and the girls purchased a Captain America shield for me to complete my costume.

As the day progressed I just never really got into the Halloween spirit, and as time to head out Trick or Treating … Read More