Chat Room: Thomas Baxter

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By Lance Coleman

Name: Thomas Baxter
Age: 38
Married: to Ashley, and they have two girls: Jordan, 6 and Dawson, 5.
Occupation: School Counselor at Heritage High School

What was your first paying job?
"McDonald’s. I used to make some great French fries."

If you were stranded on an island, what one thing would you take?
"My two daughters. They are so funny and are always coming up with the most incredible things. I love them very much."

If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
"Take my wife back to London and Paris and this time spend the money for a taxi instead of walking 5-10 miles a day."

What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
" ‘Good Day, Sir,’ from ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.’ I use it with my buddies after a great shot, or I win a competition."

What are you guilty of?
"Trying to do too much. I sometimes get myself involved in various projects."

What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
"I would like to take a trip to see the Pro-Football and Pro-Baseball Hall of Fame."

What are you reading currently?
"About 500 transcripts. I am already getting ready for another year at Heritage High School."

What is your favorite material possession?
"My Eagle Scout badge. The Boy Scouts is a great organization."

Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
"People responsible for the Internet."

What was your most embarrassing moment?
"I was walking in the neighborhood with my wife when a big German shepherd came running out of a garage toward me. I yelled for my wife to ‘look out,’ and I covered my face and body. The dog had already turned around and was walking back to the house, and I was standing in the middle of the road like some chicken."

Why did you pursue the career you chose?
"Children have so much potential. It is great to be able help a student succeed in school and explore their dreams, and to point them in the right direction."

What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
"Good guy. I love to help people, be an involved parent and help out around the house."

When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
"I loved my Big Wheel. I would have loved to race motorcycles, but my mom wouldn’t let me or my brothers ever have one."

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
"Time management."

What is your passion?
"Helping people reach their potential. I do not want anyone to look back in 30 years and say ‘I wish I would have ?’"

With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
"Alan Greenspan. I would love to talk about economics."

What do you hate?
"People who litter. I wonder who they think is going to pick up all those cigarette butts, wrappers, bottles, etc."

What is your dream vacation?
"I love cold weather. I would love to go out West, have a big cabin in the woods and spend two weeks sledding and skiing with my two girls and my wife."

Rebels, Tornadoes, Mountaineers or Governors?

What is the best book you’ve ever read?
" ‘Island of the Blue Dolphins,’ by Scott O’ Dell."

If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
"The Civil War. My dad and I have visited Shiloh many times together. The strategies of the battle are very interesting."

What is your favorite sport and your favorite sport’s team?
"Pittsburgh Steelers. I even have a Terrible Towel in my office."

What is the best present you ever received?
"Tickets to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play baseball this past summer. "

What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
"My mother has always had empathy. She would ask us, ‘How would that make you feel?’"

Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
"Yes. In seventh grade, I talked during a Spelling Bee. The teacher told me to be quiet two times. The assistant principal gave me five licks for that. "

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