Faculty Spotlight: Chris Nelson

Teacher – Upper School German; Director, Chesapeake Bay Fellows; Director, Campus Sustainability
Department and Program Affiliations:
German, Batten Leadership Program, Upper School

Head Coach, Varsity Boys Crew
Asst. Coach, Varsity Girls Crew
Academic background:
B.A., German, University of Massachusetts, Albert Ludwigs Universität
M.Ed., University of Virginia
How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
I have been at Norfolk Academy for 37 years.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator: 
I wanted to become a teacher because I always liked school cultures. As a student, especially in high school, I had teachers and coaches who played a big part in my growing up. I wanted to be like them.
What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
It’s a place where everybody knows everybody. We live, learn, and train together. We celebrate each other’s success and support each other in times of need.

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
…of its honor system. The honor system enables a community of trust and trusting relationships.

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?  
I like to kayak and camp; sail; bike; and work with wood. My latest addiction is carving spoons (!).

Last book read:
Chesapeake Requiem by Earl Swift
Favorite food?
Swordfish - it’s a moral dilemma for me. Maybe, we should stop eating swordfish for a while, but NOAA says it is sustainably fished.
A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
I don’t think anyone would want to make (much less see) a movie about me. Most people say I have a voice (and a face) made for radio! I think it would have to be Walter Matthau or Clint Eastwood in one of their grumpy old man roles.
Fun fact your students might not know about you/might find surprising:
In 1977, I played in the “Final Four” round of the national collegiate basketball tournament (in Germany). They were terrible!

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
…able to paddle across Scandinavia.