John Sill is surrounded by education. His father is a biology professor at a junior college in North Dakota, his mother is a retired high school teacher, his older brother is a business teacher at Minnetonka High School, and his twin sister is an undergraduate nursing professor at St. Catherine University. So, naturally, John also got involved in education.
He grew up in Bottineau, North Dakota. He received his bachelors degree in elementary education from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. "After I graduated from Luther I taught abroad in Brussels, Belgium from 2007-2008," he said. "The traveling opportunities were amazing, the kids were ridiculously adorable, and the beer, chocolate, and frites were incredible."
John returned to the U.S. and spent about three years substitute teaching, table clearing at Maggiano's in Edina, and working as a paraprofessional in the Bloomington School District. Then, in 2010, he went on to obtain a Master's of Arts in Education: Leadership in Student Affairs from the University of St Thomas.
In 2011, John started working at the University in the Orientation and First Year Programs office as an intern. In September 2012, he began working at One Stop Student Services as a counselor.
"As a counselor, I help save the world by offering assistance to students and parents regarding financial aid, registration inquiries, academic record requests, University resources, and all other sorts of tidbits of information," he said.
John works on the St. Paul campus so he works closely with the OTR staff. "It's been really fun getting to know them. They keep me on my toes," he said. "I could not do my job without all the great folks back in ASR and other University offices as they follow up with my incredibly brilliant questions."
John currently lives in Woodbury with his fiancé Allison and their Ragdoll cat. "She's a luxury cat because she costs too much money, but is great because she acts like a dog and loves to chill with people."
His fiancé just finished her Nurse Practitioner's degree at St. Kate's. The two are getting married in July 2014 in her hometown of Spicer, Minnesota.
John's personal goals for the upcoming years include "successfully getting married next summer, paying my car off, running two more marathons for a total of five, and enjoying my upcoming new title of uncle," he said.
Professionally, John hopes to stay at the University. "It's an incredible place and I thoroughly enjoy helping students and working with the people here," he said.
He says that, besides improving his swashbuckling skill-set, he would like to explore other professional areas to utilize the Regent's Scholarship.
Outside of work, John's favorite activity is to get together with college friends, grill out, and play bags all day. He's also not modest about his hidden talents. "I draw an incredible bat symbol," he said. "And my cursive handwriting is better than literally everyone else's."
1. Field of Dreams is his favorite movie.
2. His first concert was The Goo Goo Dolls at the North Dakota State Fair. "It was dope."
3. He just reread The Hobbit in preparation for the second movie.
4. His favorite TV show is Archer.
5. The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs is his favorite book.
6. John loves the Dave Matthews Band and Foo Fighters.
7. New Zealand is his favorite vacation spot.
8. John's favorite foods are lutefisk and macaroni and cheese.
9. John's most memorable Halloween costume was Shredder from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. "Instead of prepping lessons for student teaching, I spend a day and a half creating my costume and won $60."
10. If he could be anyone for a day, he'd be Stephen Colbert.