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Snapshot: Matthew Jones

Occupation: I’m an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at LVA School in Danbury. I teach three different levels of language and do after school tutoring. I also work as the editor of a sports journalism website, nepatriotsdraft.com.

Family: My mother and father, Margaret and Mark, live in Sandy Hook. My sister Allie is in college at North Carolina State University.

Pets: We have a dog, Bob. He’s a Rhodesian ridgeback. He just had his birthday, and I believe he is 5 years old. He’s very friendly and very persuasive: he tries to get as much food as he can during the day.

How long have you lived in Newtown? We moved here in early 2002. I was 11 years old and in the sixth grade.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love sports, but I also like to read. I try to keep up on different news. I like going to restaurants. You can often find me at Kolam in Newtown. I do like to listen to lots of music.

Do you have a favorite book? It’s hard to pick one, but my most recent favorite is Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson. It’s a collection of short stories about people in a fictional town. Each of the characters has an unusual characteristic, mentally or physically. It’s very insightful into the characters. I try to read a lot of fiction, but I do a lot of nonfiction reading for work.

Do you have a favorite travel destination? If I were going to choose somewhere, I’d choose South America. I’ve never been there. When I was younger we lived in a lot of different countries, but never South America. I’m hoping to get a job in China, too, as an ESL teacher.

What is the best thing about Newtown? I like driving around here. There are a lot of interesting roads. I like Fairfield Hills for walking around. There’s a lot of nice scenery.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? A lot of my high school teachers at Newtown High School influenced me. I had Mrs Kaplan — she used to be Miss Ottomeier — for my English classes, since the beginning of sophomore year. The way her classes were constructed made English more interesting than before.

Do you have a personal philosophy? Always try to be respectful of other people.

Do you have a guilty pleasure? I try to follow a pretty strict diet and I like to exercise, but pizza is hard to resist. I really like the Margarita pizza at SoHo, across from WestConn in Danbury.

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