By Michael Sudhalter
Christopher Reid, the 2014-15 Stafford Municipal School District Teacher of the Year, received some great advice when he graduated from high school in the early 1990s.
“My father said ‘challenge yourself’,” said Reid, who begins his fifth year at Stafford MSD next month.
Reid, 42, took that advice to heart, joining the U.S. Navy in 1991 and ultimately joining a submarine crew.
“Being on a submarine is a whole different world,” Reid said. “I was a Yeoman 3rd Class and worked directly with the chief executive officer of the ship and worked on emergency drills. It was three months on the ship, and three months off.”
Serving in the U.S. Navy brought Reid to a variety of posts, from chilly Groton, Conn., to the scenic San Francisco Bay area, with training assignments in Orlando, Fla., and Meridian, Miss. Reid has passed on the “challenge yourself” advice he received from his father, and passed it down to his history and economics students at Stafford High School.
After completing his service in the Navy, Reid enrolled at Houston Community College, and later, earned a history/English degree from the University of Houston-Downtown on the GI Bill. He accomplished that while working full-time (two jobs) and raising children, becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college.
Reid and his wife, who reside in Missouri City, are the parents of three sons – two in college and one in high school.
Reid entered the teaching profession in 2008 and joined Stafford MSD in 2012. He earned a master’s degree in education and is currently working on a second master’s degree in economics – both from the University of Houston-Victoria.
Approximately one-third of Stafford MSD’s teachers have a master’s degree.
Reid has been at the forefront of a Stafford MSD-Houston Community College (HCC) partnership that allows Stafford MSD students to earn college credits from HCC, free of charge. SMSD continues to add HCC dual credit courses each year, and it’s not uncommon for students to graduate high school as a second-semester college freshman, or even a college sophomore.
“Teaching dual credit helps the kids and gets them that taste of college,” Reid said.
Reid, who serves as the student council advisor and a senior advisor at Stafford High, also teaches night courses at HCC.
Each year, Reid goes above the call of duty and takes 80 to 100 hours of professional development. He often travels to conferences in places like Gettysburg, Pa., Arlington, Va. and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to get an up-close understanding of his subject matter.
“It makes me a better teacher,” Reid said. “You have to be a little different every year. You can never do the same thing. You have to make it the subject matter interesting for the students.”
Reid said he was pleasantly surprised when his peers nominated him for Stafford High School Teacher of the Year.
As one of the five campus teachers of the year, he was eligible to be selected for District Teacher of the Year, which he was awarded in June 2015.
Thanks to a partnership with Group 1 Automotive, the Stafford MSD Teacher of the Year has a free summer lease on a vehicle, with the option of a paid lease or purchase, upon completion of the free summer lease. Reid drove a Lexus from Sterling McCall Lexus last summer.
“It was an honor to represent the district,” Reid said.