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Joe Oswald was born and raised in Chicago’s historic Beverly Hills neighborhood where he continues to live and raise his own family. He has a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and a master’s degree in history from De Paul University as well as a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Governors State University.  Joe has worked as a Chicago public high school history teacher for over twenty years. He served as a member of his school’s Literacy Team, served as departmental coordinator for the Chicago Reading Initiative, and has been a member of the North Central writing improvement committee, the school grant writing committee, and supervised numerous student teachers. He has also served as chairman of the history department and on the School Leadership Team for nine of those years and continues to teach Chicago History and an A.P. Research course. Additionally, Joe has endorsements in special education, English as a Second Language, and is a certified International Baccalaureate teacher. While serving as department chair he oversaw the implementation of standardized test prep reading programs for his department that focused on preparing students for the ACT,® and later the SAT.® He also coordinated the marketing committee for his school, wrote numerous newspaper articles about the school that appeared in local newspapers, and created a mentoring program for new teachers.  

As a professional educator for over twenty years, Joe Oswald has experience working with adults and students from various educational backgrounds, including special needs students and English language learners. He has seen first-hand students struggle with their  reading and writing assignments, tests, and on important college entrance exams because they lack a strong vocabulary.  Outside of education, many of his accomplishments would not have been possible without strong academic skills and a command of the English language, both of which are based on having an extensive vocabulary. That led to him writing Vocabulary for Champions: Over 2,000 Words and Activities to Improve Your Reading, Writing, Speaking, Test-taking, and Resume-building Skills. The words in this book were chosen based on over twenty years of teaching and other professional experiences that witnessed the types of words adults and students struggle with in a variety of settings. The first-hand knowledge of the importance of a strong vocabulary and the proven correlation between an extensive vocabulary and higher socioeconomic status inspired him to write this book and to help others unlock their academic, personal, and professional potential. 

His previous work includes a book about the historic Beverly Hills/Morgan Park neighborhood in Chicago published by Arcadia Publishing as part of their Images of America series. When he was twenty-one years old he passed the Illinois Real Estate exam and began selling real estate with a local Century-21 office.  He also took a general contracting class, worked as a new home consultant for a real estate developer, and served on the board of directors for the Beverly Ridge Homeowners’ Association, a civic association that represents and promotes the civic affairs for over 1,000 households in the association’s boundaries. 

His latest book, The Homeowner's Guide to Contracting, Building, and Remodeling: Save a Fortune by Learning What Contractors Don't Want You to Know, details how Joe acted as his own general contractor in the renovation and building of an addition onto his 1929 Spanish Revival home. The book details the renovation and construction process and explains how he was able to reinvest the money he saved by not using a general contractor back into the home. The book was written as a "how-to" guide for other homeowners interested in saving money without sacrificing quality in a renovation or construction project. 

Joe has been interviewed on local and national television and radio shows and continues to give presentations about the neighborhood to local community groups.

For questions, comments, or additional information please contact Joe Oswald at joe@joeoswald.com.