Walsh Receives Top Teacher Nomination

Joelle Nelson, Co-Editor in Chief

Physical Education teacher Chris Walsh has been nominated for the Acalanes School District teacher of the year award for his outstanding contributions to student learning. His career has included 24 years of teaching students at Campolindo, 4 of whom are now faculty members themselves.

Walsh 1st learned of the nomination while recuperating from a cold at his home. He received the e-mail with the news.  “I literally saw my name and I jumped! I was like, ‘What?'” he said.

The rest of the staff were informed at the teacher work day on March 12.

Walsh insisted his colleagues have played a huge part in his success. “I had some great teachers who helped me when I got in trouble,” he said, “We have such a great faculty here.”

Walsh added, “It’s so neat to see your colleagues share your success.”

Walsh was 1 of 4 teachers in the district who received nominations.

He was quick to point out that Automotive Technology teacher Steve Boone won the award last year. “It was really neat to see some of the tactile-type courses be recognized,” said Walsh.

In addition to his work with freshman and sophomore physical education courses, Walsh is also a certified yoga instructor who has developed a yoga elective program over the last several years at Campolindo. In March, he held a special yoga session to show support of Parkland school shooting victims. He believes his yoga class helps reduce student stress. Walsh said that his work with the yoga program was likely the reason he was recognized.

According to Walsh, Counselor Jenna Wrobel was a major influence and support during is initial exploration of yoga.

In addition, Walsh was a long-time cross country and track coach at Campolindo.

Teacher Dino Petrocco, who coached alongside Walsh for several years, said, “He is one of the best human beings I know. I mean that seriously… Just one of the most supportive people I’ve ever met.”

When Petrocco 1st begin teaching at Campolindo, it was Walsh who gave him both support and advice. Those years were “probably some of my most fond moments in my life as a teacher and a coach,” he said. Petrocco believes Walsh is incredibly passionate about his job and is still one of the most humble people he knows.

He is “completely worthy of the teacher of the year honor,” said Petrocco.

While Walsh stepped away from coaching in 2006, he still supports the programs and encourages Campolindo athletes.  Senior Hannah Ruane, a current cross country and track athlete, said,  “I’ve known him for a while. He always shows up to [track and cross country] meets and is so nice and supportive to me and the rest of the team.”

His positivity, said Ruane, “is so infectious.”

Petrocco agreed that Walsh has an “uncanny” ability to connect with students like few other teachers can.

Current teachers Tom Renno, Stephanie Verbanszky, Steven Dyer, and Petro Petreas are all former Campolindo students that came through Walsh’s classes.

“Boy I must be getting old!” joked Walsh.