Campus Favorite Hits 21 Years

Sophia Bartolo, Staff Writer

Physical Education teacher Chris Walsh will soon reach his 21st anniversary of teaching at Campolindo. According to Walsh, he has been dedicated to fitness and exercise for as long as he can remember.

“I was always fascinated by the human body,” explained Walsh. “My grandfather [Herman Lorenzo Emedey] was a famous doctor; he helped develop a cure for ringworm back in the ’40s and he helped work on some of the polio vaccines during that time. When I was kid he used to have skeleton models and  books on insects and birds and biology that interested me in the topic.”

At the University of Oregon, Walsh mastered in exercise physiology. “I taught 5 years of middle school science [at O’Hara park in Oakley], which was my boot camp for teaching, then 1 year at UC Irvine,” explained Walsh. “Then I was fortunate enough to come here, which was my dream job.”

While Walsh was in college, his roommates shared his passion for running. “One of my roommates was a sub 4 minute miler. 2 of my roommates made the Olympic trials in track in 1980,” said Walsh.

“I had a wonderful high school track coach. 2 of my 3 coaches are in the hall of fame, my high school coach and my coach at Oregon. They had a great impact on me, and it’s a great sport,” explained Walsh.

While Walsh was interested in science, he decided to include his passion for fitness in his career. “PE is fun to teach. I really believe in it. I really believe in fitness and awareness and tuning in with your body so you can be healthy for a long time,” said Walsh.

“My first coaching job [at Campolindo] in 1989 was track and field, and then in the fall of that year I coached cross country,” explained Walsh. “I started teaching in the fall of 1994, but I started coaching in the spring of 1989, so I coached five years before I started teaching PE,” he added.

“The kids are great, the community support is great, there’s a wonderful staff and every year there’s a new batch of kids so there’s always an exciting turnover,” said Walsh.

May of Walsh’s students appreciate the care and interest he shows in what he teaches and who he teaches. “Mr. Walsh is a really great teacher. PE’s been really great this year. In class this year we’ve really learned a lot; he really knows what he’s doing. He knows the muscle groups and how to work on each part of the body and how to be stronger and more fit. I’ve really improved throughout this year in his class,” said freshman David Gomez-Siu.

Walsh also enjoys attending yoga classes and being the student. “A lot of days I try to go to 6 o’clock yoga at Yoga-Works in Walnut Creek [before school] and then I come here and teach all day. It’s a real wonderful way to start the day,” he said.

“After school this spring I’ve been coaching track again and helping Mr. Woolridge a couple days a week. Otherwise I go to 4:30 yoga with Macy,” said Walsh.

Walsh truly appreciates the opportunity to work at Campolindo and admires his coworkers. “I’ve never had a day I didn’t want to come here. The faculty is wonderful. They’re amazing. In fact, our faculty is so good that when I hear and see what they do I wish I had time to take some of their classes,” said Walsh. “In high school I took German for a few years so I would like to take some classes here with Mr. Blumberg.”

Walsh has also been an innovator on campus, most recently by intruding a new physical education elective. “I’m really appreciative they added yoga [at Campolindo]. Yoga’s a great tool for all our students. There is so much talk about stress and I think our yoga class is a tool the students can use,” said Walsh.  The class, which required Walsh to work with other teachers and the district to develop a curriculum, is now a favorite for many students.

Most agree however, it’s Walsh himself that makes all of his classes so enjoyable. “Mr. Walsh is hilarious. He makes the funniest jokes and he’s a fun guy to be around. He makes class a lot more fun. In class he’ll always say ‘Yes Coach’ and ‘Freedom.’ He has a lot of quirks that make the class a lot more fun and happy and that’s a really good thing to have in a class especially in high school where there’s lots of stress; I would say he’s one of the best teachers that I’ve ever had,” said Gomez-Siu.

“He’s a nice guy. He’s honest. He really enjoys his job. He’s respectful. He’s coach Walsh, how could you not love him?” said Walsh’s first period senior teacher’s aid Brendan Wilson.