Chris Arnold, Principal at Reynolds Arthur Academy in Troutdale, OR
Nominated by Michelle Austin (parent)
I am the parent of two students who attend Reynolds Arthur Academy, one in Kindergarten, and the other in 2nd Grade and Ms. Arnold is by far the BEST Principal I have ever seen! She loves her job and continually spends countless hours in each individual classroom. She not only manages the flow and structure of the school but also is part of reading groups at each grade level. Name another principal who does that?! She is dedicated to each and every child in that school. From Kindergarten to 6th grade, Arthur Academy parents are so fortunate to have Ms. Arnold as the principal of the school their children attend. She is the TRUE meaning of a teacher.
Get to know Chris!
What inspired you to become an educator?
I hated school as a student myself, and now to find myself at school ALL day long, 7 days a week, all year long, makes me laugh all time. However, I can say that I had a mom and dad, and both sets of grandparents that never gave up on me as I went through school. My family was my biggest inspiration, but also along my educational path, I met some teachers that really pushed me in a positive way. At the same time there were other teachers in the profession that showed me clearly how NOT to work with children. When I moved to Oregon 26 years ago I got a job working at Wilkes Elementary School, as a breakfast assistant. The principal and teachers there all took me under their wings. In the few years I was there I observed and interacted with so many amazing teachers. I was blown away by their dedication to their students and every day at school was actually fun! I love to have fun and I love making kids think school work is fun thanks to my parents and the staff at Wilkes all those years ago!!
What do you like most about teaching?
The kids! Plain and simple, the kids! They make me laugh every day with their actions and words. You never know what a student is going to say on a day to day basis. They are extremely entertaining but they also provide such great teachable moments which is what I love about every single day in school life. No two days are alike at RAA. Every day is different because of the kids and their unique personalities.
What has changed the most since you began your career in education?
Several things have changed in education but one issue sticks out to me more than any others. Children are forced by our society to grow up way too fast. They have instant to access and exposure to social issues before they are ready to handle it. Many students are also missing so many basic communication skills. They are attracted to social media and gadgets, and allowed to let these distractions and devices take over their youthfulness. It is a huge negative factor in how quickly they are allowed, and many times forced, to mature. They are expected to perform what is completely age inappropriate and are not given or afforded the positive experience of just being a silly, playful child anymore.
What would you like parents to know about your job?
I hope that parents already know that I love my job and I truly love and care about their children. The more time I spend with students, families and in the community, I believe the saying "it takes a village to raise a child' is so true. Parents have the hard job of raising their child and I am here to support parents/students each and every day. I hope somehow the message is clear and that my school family knows I want the best for their child, and I will do my best to push them to excel. Part of being an educator is not only teaching the kids but helping and teaching parents as well.
Share a favorite story about your years in education.
Years back when I was teaching Kindergarten full time, we had completed our annual Cougar Dash and the kindergarten class had won. The prize for winning was an ice cream party. (The parent volunteers provided the ice cream and supplies.) Several days later, after the school day had started, one of the students told me he had brought ice cream for the party. I told him that was so nice of him but he really didn't need to do that. He said he was so excited for his class and he wanted to share with his friends. Again, I said that was very thoughtful of him. He then said he would get it for me. I was assuming mom would bring it in at the end of the day but that was not the case! The student went to his backpack to get the 1/2 gallon of ice cream that he somehow got out of the freezer at home and put in his backpack with no one noticing!! I told mom and dad that afternoon and they had no idea the ice cream was missing. Needless to say, his backpack was a total MESS, lol!