Warriors You Should Know – Chris Skrzypchak

I figured that I should just get my post finished and out of the way this week. Truth be told, I was actually out of the office last week and forgot to track someone else down. So here is information on me – Chris Skrzypchak

 

What do you do here at WVHS?

I am the Instructional Technology Coordinator. While this sounds like a “tech” job, it actually involves both tech and curriculum. Part of my job is dealing with the “tech” stuff, like training staff to use our instructional systems and maintaining this website and the public WVHS site. However, the majority of my work is working with our Warrior communty on how to make learning better and deeper for students. I also look for ways that we can all use technology to be more efficient and knowledgeable.

Why did you get into education?

Education is my second career, but it was actually my first career choice. In high school, I told my guidance counselor that I wanted to be a social studies teacher. He winced and said that the outlook for social studies teachers was not good and then suggested that I look at other career choices that would connect to my love of history and social studies, such as law. So I went to college originally as a political science major but quickly decided that was not the route I wanted to go and changed to majoring in business marketing. After graduating from college, I got a job in marketing and sales for an educational technology start-up company. I was employee number 1. It was a fun and exciting job as I experienced the company grow from one employee to almost 40 by the time I left. In fact, the company was recognized by INC magazine as one of the top 500 fastest growing companies in America for two consecutive years. While it was a great job, each day I would hear stories from my customers/teachers about how students were using technology in their classrooms and I decided that I wanted to be a part of that. So, I went back to school to become a teacher. After graduating with my Masters, I got a job teaching in Huntley. I spent 9 years in the classroom teaching Video Production and Intro to Programming. I then left the classroom when our building went 1:1 and worked as a Technology Integration Specialist for a year. When our Director of Instructional Technology left the district I took a new position at the district office and spent 2 years as an Instructional Technology – Teacher On Special Assignment overseeing the instructional technology program before coming to WVHS.

Where did you go to high school?

Marathon High School, Marathon, WI. Go Raiders!

Where did you go to college?

I received my Bachelors from Judson University, my Masters in Secondary Education from Roosevelt University, and my Teacher Leader Endorsement from NIU.

Where do you get inspiration from?

My inspiration comes from the learning community. I am inspired when I see the joy in student’s faces when they are engaged in learning and when they finally understand the concept. I am also inspired when I am able to help staff use technology to improve their curriculum or to be more efficient at their job.

What is your favorite Warrior Memory?

I am only at the end of my first year here at WV, so I don’t have a lot of memories yet, but my favorite Warrior memory thus far is attending the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Convention in Dallas, TX. Traveling with 18 students for 4 days may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but the student’s in BPA made me feel welcome this year and even taught me how to do the “shoot” dance at the NLC.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

I don’t really have any embarrassing moments as a teacher, but when I was a freshman in high school I played Friedrich in the Sound of Music. One of the costume changes was very quick and had to happen on stage behind the flat. During one of the performances, I didn’t get fully behind the flat and the audience could see me changing!

I did have a slightly embarrassing moment this year. I called a student the wrong name for about a semester before finally realizing that it was not his name. Sorry, Aldo!

Favorite book: 

I don’t have a favorite book, but instead I have favorite authors: Jim Butcher, Larry Correia, and Kevin Hearne.

Favorite Song/Artist:

I love 80’s music but will listen to pretty much anything except death metal and the new rap/hip hop music. Favorite Song is Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses.

Favorite Movies:

I am a fan of fantasy fiction or science fiction movies mostly:
Star Wars, Lord of The Rings, Marvel Movies

I also love a good comedy.

Favorite Food:

Chicago Style Pizza, Chicago Style Hot Dogs, and anything with peanut butter in it. (Peanut Butter Twix, Peanut Butter Snickers, Peanut Butter M&Ms, etc)

Favorite childhood teacher and why?

Mrs. Hawley my 2nd grade teacher. She always made learning fun and engaging. She often had guests (principal, teachers, parents, etc) come into class to teach us lessons or to critique our work. Having other people see our learning made it real and gave us an audience.

I was also very influenced by my high school business teacher Mrs. Ream. She pushed me to do more than the minimum because she knew that I could do it and was not working to my full potential.

I also need to give credit to Mr. Schutte who was my high school English teacher and Academic Decathlon coach. His passion for movies made film study the best class in high school. He also gave up his time and his home every Saturday, for months, to help us practice for the Academic Decathlon competitions. Because of his dedication, the MHS Academic Decathlon team made 26 consecutive appearances at the state contest!

When not at school, where do you like to spend your time or what do you like to do? Do you have any special talents?

When I am not at school you can probably find me and my wife sitting in a gymnasium, somewhere, watching my kids play volleyball. We have a daughter, Anna, who is a Junior and a son, Daniel, who is a Sophomore. Both play volleyball year round. In the summer months I spend one week traveling with my family to the national JVA volleyball tournament in Orlando, FL and another week traveling with my family on a mission trip within the US repairing homes for people who are unable to do the repairs themselves. This year we are going to Hurricane, WV. When not traveling in the summer, you can find me in the pool in my backyard.

My special talents are that I sing and play bass guitar. I also enjoy fishing and golfing, though not as often as I would like.

What are your future goals?

To spend more time with my family and friends and to perhaps get my Doctorate in Instructional Technology and possibly teach some college classes.

If your department had to vote you, “most likely to…”, what would they vote you?

Probably “the most likely to be the Jack of all trades, master of none!”

Well, there you have it. Now you know more about me. Be sure to say hello the next time you see me in the building.

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