I was the third of four boys born to Robert George and Marcia Jane Kerr. After my first four years on Catawba Island in Lake Erie, my family moved to a farm in Northwest Ohio. For fun, my bothers and I raised pigs and kept a garden for 4H. We were the farm hands who picked and sold the peach harvests. I became an Eagle Scout and played trombone in the band, sang in the choir and I also performed lead roles in the high school stage productions. I took tennis lessons, piano lessons, and art lessons and learned to swim at the local pool.
I left the farm to attend college in the “big city”, Indianapolis. I was awarded music and academic scholarships that made the adventure possible. At Butler, I studied music and continued to perform on stage. I competed in intramural swimming for my fraternity (Phi Kappa Psi). Back home, I became a United States Swimming coach.
I continued to performing summer theater and worked on the farm. The summer lifeguard and coaching job lead to career events later in life. I became a coach that built a NCAA Division 1 Swimming and Diving program, recruiting and training international athletes from around the globe.
I married my darling wife, Joni, ten years ago. We tend to do everything together. We have managed to keep the Michigan homestead of my mother’s family. At our Ohio home, we enjoy the small town culture. We take long walks together, bicycle, and invest our free time in community events that we sponsor. We travel to attend MSU football games, operas, concerts and plays, and we entertain our friends at home. We listen to recordings of our favorite great composers. We celebrate our Scottish, Irish, and Welch heritage and research our family genealogy.
Church work is one of our greatest passions. We listen to NPR together, and watch PBS regularly, as well as many hours of televised college football. We love spectacular events, including the Rose Bowl Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Kentucky Derby, and the Summer and the Winter Olympic Games. We also enjoy playing board games and cards with friends.
I attended Butler University and attained a Bachelor Of Arts degree in Music Education. However, After graduating, I did not pursue music education as a career. Instead, I chose to earn a second degree, a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Oral Roberts University. I decided that I wanted to become a missionary doctor. While an undergraduate student at ORU, I traveled to Jerusalem, Israel where I lived at Spafford Clinic and participated in a series of medical outreach programs to Palestinian Christians.
Again, there was a change of direction in the the wind, I did not attend medical school. I was invited to take the head coaching position for ORU's newly formed NCAA Division 1 Swimming and Diving team. After a decade of service to ORU in varied roles, including Assistant Director of Admissions for recruiting, Assistant Director of the Cooperative Learning Center, adjunct faculty member and Academic Athletic Advisor to all athletes, Title IX happened. The university closed the men's swimming and diving program.
I was hired to teach and coach at Union Public Schools, a large suburban Tulsa. I taught Biology, Physical Science, and Earth Science. After the first few years at Union, I became a National Board Certified Teacher in Young Adolescent Science. I was named Teacher of the Year for the Union Eighth Grade Center, then Teacher of the Year for Union Public Schools, and finally 2003 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. I spent a year simultaneously in and out of the classroom. I traveled thousands of miles across Oklahoma, speaking to teachers at conferences and professional development events. I was named to the transition team for the new governor, attended Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, and visited President George W. Busch at the Whitehouse.
After my year on the road, I abruptly returned to Ohio to take care of my mother. She would be permanently disabled due to a failed hip surgery. I was hired by Defiance City Schools to teach Physics. I was once again a Head Coach for Swimming and Diving team, and I also sponsored the National Honor Society.
I am now in my 15th year of service to the Defiance City School District. I serve as the Head Coach for the Quiz Team. To keep my Ohio certification current, I enrolled in graduate educational coursework at Bowling Green State University. In 2018, I entered the MAET (Masters of Arts in Educational Technology) graduate degree program at Michigan State University.
I have always been a “joiner.” Community is important to me. I believe that participation is a first step on the pathway to leadership. I have a long track record of organizing people for varied purposes. Growing up in my small town, I met many dedicated community leaders who freely gave of their time and energy to create and support big events. As the President of the Wauseon Downtown Association, I recruit and organize people to use their innate skills to participate in the renaissance of our downtown culture.
In November, I coordinate the lighted Christmas parade, a dynamic community event that requires a host of volunteers. To extend the festive spirit into the month of December, I developed a competition, the ‘Window Wonderland,” where storefront windows come to life with holiday themes. On Christmas Eve, I direct the music for a community worship service.
In the spring, I organize the downtown “Chocolate Walk,” and the opening of the Farmers’ Market. As “market master” I recruit and supervise the vendors and live music. For the Wauseon Homecoming, the biggest event of the year in our community. I have organized art exhibitions and a garden shows. I also direct the "Grand Parade", a huge and historic event for which I have designed and built floats, recruited marching bands, twirling groups, and professional entertainers.
Serving as moderator for my church I lead board meetings and supervise the planning for our church year. At Pentecost each year, I coordinate a Kite Fest for the community. The church also hosts a bicycle rodeo to teach local children about bicycle safety, another of my annual projects.
Most recently, I have been raising funds for the restoration of a community treasure, our Toledo and Indiana Trolley Depot, located in the heart of the downtown district. The building will house a museum, a tribute to the trolley system that connected our rural community to the big cities and beyond.