Ham up for Secondary Teacher of the Year

In+his+element%2C+biology+teacher+Chris+Ham+gives+a+lesson+on+genetic+testing+in+Iceland+last+year.+Ham+is+among+the+final+five+up+for+Frisco+ISDs+Secondary+Teacher+of+the+Year+for+the+2019-2020+school+year.+%0A

Melody Tavallaee

In his element, biology teacher Chris Ham gives a lesson on genetic testing in Iceland last year. Ham is among the final five up for Frisco ISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year for the 2019-2020 school year.

Aaron Boehmer, Managing Editor

Frisco ISD has announced the district’s Top 10 Teacher of the Year candidates, with one Redhawk, biology teacher Chris Ham, among the final five up for Secondary Teacher of the Year. 

Both the Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year winners will be announced Thursday at 6 p.m. on Facebook live.  

“While we would typically have an evening to celebrate these teachers, I’m pleased that we have pivoted to a community-wide celebration through the announcement,” Dr. Waldrip said on the FISD website. “All 72 Teachers of the Year recognized across the District are leaders in their field and we are proud to have them in our district.”

For Ham, the recognition has been both surprising and affirming. 

“It’s unexpected for me since I really don’t consider myself the best teacher,” Ham said. “I know my classroom isn’t perfect and there’s plenty of things I can do better on, but I do my best and strive to improve every day. But I’m thankful and honored to be acknowledged.” 

Acknowledgement of Ham’s teaching isn’t lost on his students, as freshman Shannon Christian can speak to his skills as a teacher. 

“Mr. Ham is an amazing teacher because he can be understanding and relatable,” Christian said. “He knows how to filter the work out to make sure we’re retaining information, but not overloading to where we are stressed. He also makes lessons and lectures entertaining so that we stay engaged and can follow along. Mr. Ham also allows his class to be fun by letting us have a class Spotify to listen to or playing games to review.” 

Remaining humble, Ham attributes his ability to be a good teacher to the administrators on campus. 

“I think being recognized on a district level acknowledges not just me as a teacher but all of Liberty High School as well,” he said. “I believe that a teacher can only be as good as their environment. If I didn’t have the support and encouragement from the administrators, I wouldn’t have taken risks to try different things in my practice. If I didn’t have Mrs. Addo and Mrs. Mosley to give me feedback on my teaching, I wouldn’t be able to improve my practice. If I didn’t have my colleagues, Mr. Sabatier, Mrs. Newton, and Ms. Cowger, to collaborate and share ideas, I wouldn’t be able to improve the curriculum. With all of the support, I was able to be the best that I can be. So, I believe that being a finalist recognizes how great Liberty High School is.”