My Story

In high school and in college I worked in the nursery and landscaping business. I got my B.A. from Sam Houston State, Texas in 1980. My parents were truly “middle class” but tuition was low enough so a college education did not leave me strapped with decades of high interest student loans.

After graduating from college I went to work for the Houston Fire Department. After marriage, my wife and I moved to College Station, Texas so my wife could finish her teaching degree. While there, I worked as a substitute teacher on my days off as a firefighter. Between the two fire department jobs I worked in the oil fields as a mud-logger. I worked everywhere from the deserts of west Texas, to the swamps of Louisiana, to the offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

The substitute teaching jobs got me interested in teaching. We moved on and I worked for the Arkansas Fire Academy teaching firefighting.  I taught firefighting there and for three years at Gateway Technical Institute. Using a alternative teacher certification program at U.W. Milwaukee I began my special education teaching career. I’ve taught in Milwaukee and I am currently teaching in Racine at the high school level in special education. 

My wife and I have lived in Wisconsin for over 15 years and we have just celebrated our 34th anniversary. We adopted two children, who were siblings, out of foster care.  They are now grown. My son has a 31/2 year old who loves trains so you may have seen me riding from Racine to Milwaukee for no other purpose than the ride. We continue to adopt homeless dogs, birds, and fish. 

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                                              Paid for by Friends of Andy Mitchell, Pat Eisenbart Sammataro treasurer.