Staff Spotlight: Adam Tunney, Academic Coach & Welcome Coach for New Families

I was born in sizzling Scottsdale, Arizona, during the last few months of the 1970s, but I grew up in Southern California. I attended Loyola Marymount University on scholarships for music and debate, and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a Minor in Theatre Arts. I returned to LMU to receive my Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and a Single Subject Teaching Credential in English.

I began teaching high school at my alma mater at age 24, while also serving as Director of the Theatre Department that I helped create as a student eight years earlier. During this time, I also had the distinct pleasure of serving as acting coach to Academy Award-winning actress Shirley Jones.

My life changed when my dad’s cancer returned, and I left education to assist him with running the family business. My dad owned six McDonald’s franchises, and in addition to running store-to-store operations, I was placed in charge of hiring, training, and new employee orientation for all six restaurants. When my dad passed away, I continued to work for my mom until she sold the six restaurants. Since then, I took my love of music and turned it into a profession, singing songs from The Great American Songbook and performing all over the United States. I have been fortunate to perform with and for many of my heroes, including Mickey Rooney, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Jones, Keely Smith, Eddie Money, and Michael Feinstein.

Serving as a Facilitator and Academic Coach for iLEAD has allowed me to share my love and enthusiasm for education with my students, no matter where I’m performing. I am very happily married to my college crush, who is a professor at Loyola Marymount University, and we have three incredible children who remain my favorite teachers.