Joel grew up on the rim of the Snake River Canyon in southern Idaho, realizing at an early age that exploring the mysteries of the canyon below was far more alluring than toiling in the flat fields of his family’s farm on the desert plain above. While he eventually learned to love and appreciate the work ethic and problem-solving skills farming instilled in him, he could never escape the impulse to discover what lay down in that river canyon, over the next rock, and around the bend.
Convinced there must be more to life than a university lecture hall, following high school graduation, Joel embarked on a 20-some year journey of exploration. He’s worked as a river guide, ski instructor, tree climber, bellboy, and electrician’s assistant...to name a few. His path has taken him in every direction: west, to New Zealand (which is actually in the far east) to the east, seeing the French Alps in Western Europe, as far as north as Alaska and to the South Pole in the, well, south. From there he turned back to his Idaho origins, and has since dedicated himself to teaching children. 2018 will mark his ninth year working in education, over which time he has worked with children ages 3-19, some with special needs, some in gifted and talented programs, and all with unlimited desire and potential.
Joel is a two-time graduate of Boise State University, with bachelor’s degrees in English (Writing Emphasis) and Elementary Education. He spends his spare time thinking up adventures to go on with his wife, Gretchen, and two sons, Gus (9) and Wally (6).