Thomas John Kearney
Pen Name: Thomas Kearney
Born: 1953 in Elmhurst, Illinois
Kearney was born in Elmhurst but grew up in Westchester, Illinois. He went to Proviso West High School in Hillside, Illinois and attended college at the University of Illinois in Champaign where he played football and was a track letterman for 2 years. After graduating he became a teacher and a coach at Stagg High School in Palos Hills, Illinois. Eventually he moved to Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Illinois and taught Biology, Environmental Education, and Animal Behavior. At the time, he created the class there were maybe 5 other schools in the country that had a class similar. He became a Teacher Adviser for Brookfield Zoo and served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Science Teacher Association. Kearney retired from teaching in 2009. He currently resides in Kankakee with his wife Susan. They have 3 children and 8 grandchildren.
Biographical and Professional Information
Thomas Kearney attended the University of Illinois in Champaign, and graduated with academic honors in 1975. While at the University of Illinois he majored in PE with minors in Driver Education and Biology. He also played football and was a 2 year letterman in Track. After graduating he became a teacher at A.A. Stagg High School in Palos Hills, Illinois, and eventually transferred to Victor J. Andrew High School in Tinley Park where he taught Biology, Environmental Education, and a class he created himself called Animal Behavior. He was a Teacher Adviser for Brookfield Zoo for a number of years and served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Science Teacher Association representing the suburban areas of Chicago. As a teacher, Kearney was a speaker for various seminars and conferences and also coached football and track for over 25 years. He retired from teaching in 2009. After retiring, he and his wife founded a non-for-profit called Earth Stewards, which he uses to help teach environment and nature classes for schools and the park district.
Kearney's writing career began after he retired. He first wrote Zoo-a-logical Math and then Zoo-a-logical Math Junior. In both books he compares various animals and humans in athletic events using math. Zoo-a-logical Math is for grades 7-college, and Zoo-a-logical Math Junior is for grades 4-12. He also makes various presentations related to his books and the ideas behind his writing.
The books, Zoo-a-logical Math and Zoo-a-logical Math Junior, were born when Kearney was teaching Animal Behavior class. Students would ask him various questions about animals, and sometimes he would create some math problems that would help answer the questions. He found that when he created these "animal math questions" the students would really be focused in on the math.
Zoo-a-logical Math, Dog Ear Publishing, 2012
Zoo-a-logical Math Junior, Dog Ear Publishing, 2013
Titles for Purchase and at Your Library
Zoo-a-Logical Math: A Mathematical Challenge between Humans and the Rest of the Animal World
Release Date: 2012-04-12
Zoo-A-Logical Math Junior: A Mathematical Challenge Between Humans and the Rest of the Animal World
Release Date: 2013-07-22
Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances
Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)
Contact author via:
Fees are negotiable.
The author prefers to speak to educational groups or people with a interest in animals. He prefers to stay within a 50-60 mile radius of Kankakee, but will talk with interested groups outside of that radius.
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