Chris Halverson is principal at middle school
Chris Halverson of Baxter has been hired as the principal at Motley-Staples Middle School, a position he assumed July 1.
“I love education and I’m excited for the opportunity to help make a good impact as I work at this new level,” Halverson said recently.
Prior to coming on board at the middle school, Halverson was a teacher for the Brainerd School District. “I taught for a total of 15 years, both at the middle school and high school levels,” he said. “The last eight years, I taught economics and sociology at Brainerd High School (BHS).”
A native of Brainerd, Halverson graduated from BHS in 1992. It was where he first grew to love the educational system, inspired by a number of teachers over the years.
“My fourth grade teacher at Lowell School always used real-life examples when he taught...showing us how to apply what we learned to our own lives. That’s the way I eventually taught,” Halverson said.
He didn’t immediately go into education, however.
“I went to college to play basketball,” Halverson said, adding that he attended Moorhead State University, where he earned a degree in criminal justice and sociology. “I was going to be a cop.”
After graduating from MSU, Halverson worked as a juvenile corrections officer. In addition to his regular duties, Halverson would often find himself teaching the young people he was working with. “I started getting comments that I was a good teacher...that maybe I should be doing that for a living.”
In 1998, Halverson went back to school, earning a teaching degree at the University of North Dakota in 2000.
He did his student teaching in Brainerd and soon after was hired to teach at Franklin Junior High School in Brainerd. Later, he taught at Forestview Middle School, Baxter.
In 2003, Halverson earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at Southwest State University. “I love learning and I’m a growth-minded person, both professionally and personally.”
Although he loved teaching, Halverson said he felt it was time to pursue the administrative side of education. “I felt like I had done what I could at Brainerd. I wanted the opportunity to work in a smaller district.”
As part of his requirements toward an administrative license, Halverson said he had to put in 320 hours of education-related activities, such as attending school board meetings.
“I came to quite a few board meetings here at Staples Motley, which is where I first met Mary Klamm (school superintendent),” Halverson said. “I also heard the community reaction toward the school’s realignment process, so that wasn’t a surprise to me when I got here.”
Halverson said he has been very impressed with the Staples-Motley School District so far. “The administration team is great and I’m looking forward to getting to know the rest of the faculty and staff.”
As part of the realignment of grades in the school district, the Motley-Staples Middle School will now be home to grades 4 - 7.
Halverson said he realizes this new format of grades has been a concern for many people, but he’s committed to working through it with them. “I also understand that the middle school has gone through four principals in five years. I’m going to have to gain the trust of parents, students and staff, but I’m looking forward to building that.”
In his free time, Halverson enjoys spending time with his wife, Angie (a special education teacher in Brainerd); daughter Madi, 11; and son, Reece, eight.
“We enjoy spending time outdoors as a family...out at the lakes in our family boat,” he said. He’s also a sports and exercise enthusiast, Halverson went on, adding that you might just see him driving around town on his motorcycle one day.
He looks forward to meeting people at the school’s open house in August.