Tom grew up in Elmont, Long Island until the 6th grade and then moved to Teaneck, N.J. where he lived until he began attending Trinity College in Hartford in the fall of 1967. After graduating college in june, 1971 he faced the draft. After not passing the physical/mental examination (he tells the story in Called to Serve), he then was able to pursue a travel study grant – the Watson Fellowship – that enabled him to study alternative education in England, the continent and Israel from Sept. of 1971 to June of 1972. Upon his return he started law school at NYU, but soon left the city to commence his life in Northampton, MA where he has lived ever since.
Tom is married to Susan Dudek, has four children ranging in age from 20-40 and two grandchildren, 4 1/2 and 1/1/2. He has been teaching and mentoring student teachers at the Smith College Campus School in Northampton, MA, a laboratory and teacher training elementary school, for 35 years. For the last 25 he has been a 6th grade teacher. In addition, he has taught high school to inner city Upward Bound students at the University of Connecticut for 19 summers ending in ’95 and summer school in Northampton for 15 years.
Tom is a social justice activist who addresses issues of fairness and access in his work and in his community with positions ranging from co-chair of the Civil Rights Committee of the Northampton Public Schools to membership on the Journey Towards Wholeness committee seeking greater racial and socio-economic diversity in the local Unitarian Society and the zoning revisions committee as the outreach representative.