By Talon reporter Lauren Greenleaf
Meet Chris McNamara, the long-term substitute that will fill English teacher Haley Harkema’s shoes. McNamara will teach her classes, AVID and Freshman English, until Winter break. Kathy Yasui, another teacher in the English department, says, “he is very approachable and nice.”
McNamara says that he came to Hood River because of his wife. “Since I had dragged my family all over the world when I was in the Navy, I figured it was time for me to follow her.” This is McNamara’s first year teaching. “I am the oldest new teacher you will ever meet,” he said.
Freshman Ezra Johnsen says that McNamara does a good job of “taking control of the classroom.” Johnsen says he likes that the students get to work at their own pace. Dylan Poewczyk says that McNamara is strict, but overall he “enjoy(s) his teaching style.” Evelyn Nunez doesn’t think he is strict, and that he is a great teacher. She says that the class “really benefits from his teaching style.”
McNamara’s favorite TV show is Homeland, and his favorite character of the show is the female lead Carrie Mathison, played by Clair Danes. He has four dogs: Mink, Kiarra, Mac, and Snow. His favorite part of Hood River is the atmosphere, geography, and scenery.
McNamara was in the Navy for his whole career and owned a business for ten years. When asked about why he got into teaching he said, “When I was in the Navy I really enjoyed working with young sailors. I was the captain of ships and so the crew worked for me … It was great to work with them. And then my kids, I was always involved in their education … So, in order to stay in touch with young people I became a teacher.” He says that he enjoys learning from his students as well as getting to share with them what he has learned over the years. Yasui says that he “has a lot of enthusiasm,” and, “has a lot of go get –itness when it comes to starting a new career.” She says he “seems very motivated to do the best he can.” McNamara says that because he enjoyed reading from a young age, he became a life-long learner. A piece of wisdom that he would like to impart with his students is “There are always new things to learn. I feel good about that; I feel good that I can still learn things at my age.”