For the past 25 years, Chris has been a teacher, education innovator, entrepreneur, and school leader. He has dedicated his professional career to the improvement of the school experience for young people. Prior to joining the FI team, Chris cut his teaching teeth while working with struggling teens in the outdoors. Outdoor therapeutic recreation and education proved to be a gateway for Chris to teaching in public schools but he struggled with the static systems and practices that continually got in the way of great learning opportunities for students. After teaching high school and middle school social studies, Chris was moved by the opportunity to create a better learning ecosystem by starting a charter school in Duluth, Minnesota. He designed, opened, and led Harbor City International School, an accredited, student-centered, and inquiry-based public charter school recognized for quality and innovation. As Executive Director, Chris led Harbor City High through its first 9 years by creating learning, teaching, and administrative programs that married the best practices of student-centered, inquiry-based learning programs with effective traditional methodologies and programs. Recognizing that a student’s success is dependent on competent, passionate, “teacher entrepreneurs,” Chris created and refined a consensus-driven, distributed leadership, and professional development model. Despite Harbor City’s high level of the economically and academically disadvantaged student population, the school’s academic performance and attendance results as well as exceptional staff retention rate illustrate that this educational model works. It was in this capacity that he first began collaborating with FI, who served as the design architect for Harbor City International School.
Chris believes that the fundamental underpinnings of effective education are dependent on teacher and student ownership of the learning process and experience. Teachers and students thrive when they are challenged with relevant learning experiences tied to their own interests in an environment that fosters critical thinking. He brings both a teacher and administrator’s mindset to the school design and transformation process. His broad background and understanding of best practices and top innovations equip him to offer FI’s clients the support they need as they modernize learning environments and pedagogy.
Chris and his family reside in Singapore where they have found new communities and adventures bikepacking, sailing, paddleboarding, playing music, and traveling.