13/52 - 52 Most Influential People

December 01, 2013  •  3 Comments

 

Chris Dallas 13/52
 

 

Meet The Person:

Christopher R. Dallas - Technology Education Teacher at Holicong Middle School.

Chris has been teaching Technology Education at Holicong Middle school for Central Bucks School District since January of 2005. Teaching at Holicong was Chris’ first job right out of college. He graduated from California University of Pennsylvania (please, hold the boos) in December of 2004. Cal. U. of PA is one of two college’s in Pennsylvania that have Tech. Ed. as a degree - Millersville (obviously the best) is the other!

In 2008, Chris and his students were on Channel 10 news for building and donating dog houses to a Border Collie rescue. Chris and his students for years have been making and donating toys to Toys for Tot’s. Also in 2008, Chris earned his Master’s degree from Wilkes University in Classroom Technology.

Professionally, Chris is passionate about teaching his students how things work and why they work the way they do. He feels that problem solving and thinking outside the box are incredibly important skills that he likes to teach to his students. He teaches them to do as much as they can for themselves in order to instill a sense of pride in their work. If the students can problem solve and understand how thing work, then they will have all the tools they need to become successful. He feels as though we are in a generation that needs the engineer and the builder. And his Tech. Ed. classes will help these kids get off to a good start.

Personally, Chris is passionate about his family, cars, music, photography and biking. Just this past year, he and his wife Ashley welcomed their first son, Tanner. He loves coming home to Tanner with a big laugh and smile. In his free time, you will find Chris detailing his truck, hopping on the single track trails at Lake Nockamixon or just simply relaxing listening to his iPod. A few years back, Chris got into the world of triathlon’s, completing his first in 2010 at the Sea Isle City Triathlon.

Chris left me a good quote - “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” Well said Chris! 

 

Influence 13/52Chris Dallas Chris standing in front of his classroom

 

Influence: 

Chris was my first professional teaching partner in my first job right out of college. I couldn’t have asked for a better guy. As a young punk right out of college I was ready for the challenge but middle school certainly is a tough battle! Only being there a little over a year before me, Chris was settled in and doing a great job. We hit it off right away and he was such a huge help in getting me started in my career. 

Chris had started two fantastic projects while at Holicong - the annual Toys for Tot’s project and the Skateboard Manufacturing project. I thought these were awesome ideas and the kids really enjoyed them. For middle school students, these are fairly complex projects that really test their skills. And Chris does a great job challenging his students.

I enjoyed my time at Holicong, but something just didn’t seem to be ‘clicking.’ It was a great district, pay was good, Chris was awesome to be around every day but I just wasn’t enjoying the time with the kids like I thought I would have. I really wanted to be around high school students and felt that I would be a better educator in that environment. So I found the Hatboro-Horsham position (see my other back stories here - 

Deciding to leave Holicong was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make in my professional career. I had it good, fresh out of school making good money, a contracted position in Central Bucks school district, a great teaching partner, environment, etc. I could have stayed put and things may have been great for 30+ years there. It just didn’t feel right and so I made a huge decision to leave. And while I miss working with Chris, the decision has been a great one.

The two of us have so much in common I think we may have been switched at birth. Tech. Ed. teachers, check. Huge passion for cars (both owned Subaru’s and now we both own Nissan Trucks!) check. Enjoy photography as a hobby, check. Triathlons to stay in shape, check. And a wife named Ashley, check! Amazing! If he was only as cool as me and would have gone to Millersville instead of Cal. U. and not listen to country music (he wears cowboy boots people,) he would be my twin…

I thank Chris for our time together. Without his guidance and leadership I have no idea where I would be professionally today. I have taken his two big projects with me to employ at H-H. They have not only been a major hit with the students, but they have gotten me a lot of great press in the community. I was able to take a struggling Technology Education department here at Hatboro-Horsham and turn it into a thriving environment. I had 7 kids the first semester in my Manufacturing & Engineering class to averaging around 40 kids per semester. I was able to create my own curriculum using Chris’s skateboard project as my staple project. It’s now one of the most popular classes here at Hatboro. Not only do we do the skateboard project but I also run the Toys for Tots project every fall semester, donating 10-50+ games/toys per year to the local branch. We used to be able to get the Marines from the Willow Grove AFB to come over in their Humvee’s, but unfortunately, the base was shut down. Now we get retired Marines to come by and gather toys which is just as cool.

I miss my time with Chris. Life is obviously busy for both of us with families and hobbies. But whenever we get a chance to talk we don’t skip a beat. Cars, trucks, photography, etc. Just guys being guys. I can’t thank him enough for his guidance in helping me get my career on track. But even more than that, I thank him for being a great guy and friend - thanks Cowboy! 

 


Comments

3.mom(non-registered)
if Chris was born at Doylestown hosp - he is my son since I love country music also-hahaha
2.Rick Hughes(non-registered)
Your the best Chris, pretty good looking also.
1.SANDRA L. SANTO(non-registered)
CONGRATS 2 U .....COULDN'T HAPPEN 2 A NICER & SPECIAL CARING YOUNG MAN....NAN.....
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