Tom Franke was born, raised, and educated in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. He married Cathy in 1994, and they have two daughters, Mary and Maggie. Tom graduated from Wheaton College with a B.S. in Biology in 1977. He earned a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1987. He completed his post-graduate teaching licensure program at the University of Minnesota in 1993 in Life Science, and hs earned his Earth Science license in 2005. Tom teaches Astronomy and AP Biology, and he has been at Hopkins High School since 1994. In addition to teaching, Tom has coached competitive swimming for 30 years, and he is currently on the US Paralympic Swim Team coaching staff.