A little about me...

Updated 15 October 2015

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From the 2010-2011 Fasti, Chaffey High School's Yearbook



Left to right:  Tom, Sue, and Christina in New York City in August 2006.

My name is Tom James.  Most of the year, I teach mathematics (and some years astronomy) at Chaffey High School in Ontario , California.  I live in Upland (the city immediately north of Ontario) with my wife, Sue.  Our twenty-two-year-old daughter, Christina graduated in 2015 from UC Berkeley (my wife's and my alma mater) with a BA in history and a BS in society and environment.  She works at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline, Massachusetts. Our other daughter, Colleen, graduated from Westmont College in 1999, and completed her Master of Science degree and her PhD in Environmental Sciences at UC Riverside.  Colleen serves as the research director of Future of Fish and has contributed to other organizations and authors involved with environmental concerns and sustainability issues.  Colleen's husband, Ryan Howell completed his Master of Science degree and his PhD in Behavioral Psychology at UC Riverside and now serves on the faculty of the San Francisco State University Department of Psychology. In January 2013, they welcomed the birth of their first child and our first grandchild.  I have been a follower of Jesus for more than 35 years. 





We made our second trip to Alaska in 2007. Pictured are Sue, Christina, Ryan, Colleen and Tom standing on the Matanuska Glacier.


I like astronomy, camping and backpacking, playing guitar, gardening, computers and sports.  I grew up in South Pasadena (the natives will assure you that it is not part of Pasadena) the oldest of five children.  My mom was from Cambridge, Ohio and lived most recently in Upland until she passed away in 2015.  My dad was from Macon, Georgia, and passed away in 1998.  After graduating from South Pasadena High School in 1972, I earned a bachelor's degree in Astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley .  My favorite football team is the California Golden Bears (GO BEARS!) whom I follow faithfully each year (seems always to be a disappointing but character building experience).


After working for fifteen years in private industry as an electronics engineer, production engineer, and production manager, I entered teaching.  I earned my teaching credential and a Master of Arts degree in Education from the Claremont Graduate University in 1992. Since I started teaching, I have studied chaos theory and experimented with mathematical models of dynamical systems. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to pursue research astronomy having co-published articles in the October 1994 Astrophysical Journal Supplement and June 20, 1999 Astrophysical Journal reporting research which utilized the Hubble Space Telescope in 1996. 


This is my twenty-fifth year teaching at Chaffey.


Acknowledgments of those who have helped me along the way...


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 A few more photos:


Bike riding in San Francisco in 2009.  Left to right: Tom, Christina, Colleen, Sue, and Ryan.

At Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park in 2010.  Left to right: Tom, Sue, Christina, and Tom's mom.


After Cal defeated UCLA 43-17 on October 6, 2012. It could be a very long time before something like that happens again. Left to right: Christina, Tom, Ryan, and Colleen.



In Cambria, California (about half way from LA to San Francisco on the coast) in 2014. Left to right: Tom, Colleen, Ryan, and Sue; in front: Kathleen and Christina,


At the reception following the UC Berkeley History Department commencement exercises on May 20, 2015.



           Mr. Harvey once told me that daughters were special, but granddaughters were a different kind of special.  As usual, he's right.


Copyright 1998-2016 Thomas James  All rights reserved.