Chris Rose didn’t enter college with the idea of becoming a teacher. But while attending Rhodes College in Memphis, a chance encounter with his former principal (and current boss) Steve Straessle planted a seed.
“In high school I aspired to be a doctor, but those dreams quickly fell when I got to college. Biology wasn’t my strong suit,” he said. “I remember talking to Mr. Straessle at Riverfest. He told me they always needed math teachers and football coaches. That came about my junior year.”
Rose, a 2008 graduate of Catholic High School in Little Rock, admitted to some white-knuckle moments his first year. But now entering his sixth term, he’s comfortable in his role as a math teacher, running back coach and freshmen assistant basketball coach.
“When I was at Catholic High, I was in my group. It was tough to put yourself in the shoes of other groups,” he said. “As a teacher you quickly realize that you’re exposed to every group out there and you have to reach out to all those people.”
Rose, 27, whose home parish is Our Lady of the Holy Souls in Little Rock, said his faith has matured alongside his teaching and coaching style.
“The longer I stay at Catholic High, the more I realize about my faith,” he said. “I try to reach out to every type of student — the athletes, the more studious ones — and try to say something in class or do something every day that reaches each and every one of them. I feel better about the type of person that I am and that certainly makes me feel closer to God.”
• What is your favorite prayer?
“The Lord’s Prayer. We start off every day with that. It’s important to try to focus on what it’s saying and try to abide by everything being said.”
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