Chuck Herring
Chuck Herring.

A nationally acclaimed educator, author, entrepreneur and speaker, Chuck Herring is the K-5 Enrichment/Gifted Coordinator for the South Fayette Township School District. Dr. Herring’s students call him the “G.O.A.T. – The Greatest of All Teachers,” while parents love him because “he always wins debates with children.” Check out Herring’s inspiring TEDx talk, “From 2.3 to D.O.C.: Mentors, Mantras and Hip-Hop,” here and get to know him below.

What upcoming events are you excited to attend?

I’m super excited to attend the birth of my first grandchild in early October. I’m going to spoil the heck out of him/her! And, my grandbaby will call me “Gregarious P.O.P.” or “GP” for short, lol.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is that I get to go to a place where we “put kids first.” And because of that philosophy, I am afforded many opportunities to meet my students where they are academically, psychologically and emotionally.

Chuck Herring
Optimus Prime and Bumblebee “telling Chuck and Christine to get in their battle stances because the Decepticons were about to attack their fortress.”
Optimus Prime and Bumblebee “telling Chuck and Christine to get in their battle stances because the Decepticons were about to attack their fortress.”

What is your big idea for Pittsburgh?

One of my big ideas for Pittsburgh is already being carried out by the nonprofit, Omicelo Cares. In essence, the idea is that we continue moving forward as a city (e.g. academically, financially, societally) without leaving folks behind. Omicelo Cares is “re”-gentrifying neighborhoods by providing training for people in the communities to learn how to become homeowners and small business owners that would allow them to be a foundational part of helping their communities grow.

Podcast you’re addicted to:

Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History, he is a masterful storyteller. In essence, I see him as a 21st-century Paul Harvey. He definitely frames it as “the rest of the story.”

What’s been bugging you lately?

One of the biggest challenges I believe that many educators have today is having to educate parents that their children are going to be alright. Unfortunately, many parents believe that their child should be analyzing the work of Maya Angelou or utilizing the Pythagorean theorem by third grade. The irony of it all is that the parents want differentiated instruction, but they want the same results — for their kids to go to attend Stanford, MIT or an Ivy League institution. However, each school year, my goal is to help parents understand that as human beings, focusing more on social/emotional intelligence than on academic intelligence is vital to having a happy, well-adjusted child.

Chuck Herring
“Glamor shot” of Christine, Daisy Duck and Chuck.
“Glamor shot” of Christine, Daisy Duck and Chuck.

What song in your playlist is on endless repeat?

I have several songs that are at points and times on endless repeat: Prince’s “Adore,” Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” Run-DMC’s “Sucker MCs” and Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” (a very violent song by the way). But currently, the song on endless repeat is Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick, Push” (I don’t ride a skateboard, but that song makes me feel like I can be Tony Hawk, lol).

What is the one thing what would surprise Pittsburghers about you?

Although, I am a Golden Age of Hip Hop Head, I also love musicals. “The Sound of Music,” “Hair,” “The Wiz,” “Oliver,” “Mary Poppins,” etc.  I love them all : )

Who should be the unofficial Mayor of Pittsburgh?

Mr. Rogers should be named the Mayor in perpetuity, lol. However, I believe that the Mayor should be Emmai Alaquiva because he has his finger on the pulse of every aspect of the city’s culture. And, I’ll be one of his top advisors.

Favorite place you’ve traveled:

As a lifelong Disney enthusiast/influencer, my wife and I spent a week in the Western Caribbean on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship with Captain Jack Sparrow, Mickey, Minnie, Princess Ariel, Princess Tiana, etc.

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Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.