Chris Hall named outstanding educator by Summit Foundation philanthropy awards
BRECKENRIDGE — The Summit Foundation has named Chris Hall, library information specialist at Summit High School, as 2019’s Outstanding Educator as part of the foundation’s annual philanthropy awards.
Hall has been an educator in the Summit School District for 30 years. Hall moved to Summit in 1988, and started working in the district when she got her first job at Dillon Valley Elementary in 1989. For nine years Hall taught third and fifth graders, before moving on to become a media specialist and librarian at the school for 12 years.
Hall said she took a year off and traveled to Nepal, fully intending to come back to Dillon Valley Elementary. When she came back, she was offered a position at Summit High School’s library.
“I thought, ‘No thank you, not in a million years,’” Hall said, adding that she didn’t think she would be able to handle high schoolers. But it was a good job and she knew the principal at the time, so she took it.
She’s been at the school media center and library ever since. For the last nine years Hall has been helping high school students hone their research skills, teach them how to find and use information databases, how to do citations and avoid plagiarizing.
“I brought a little bit of the elementary to the high school,” Hall said, calling high school kids “the nicest people ever.”
“I am the problem solver,” she said. “I am there if they can’t figure something or can’t find something they’re looking for. And if I can’t solve, it I will try to find someone who can.”
Hall’s longevity in the district has meant that she’s experienced the joy of seeing kids she taught and helped as children grow up, people who she helped shape and form as they became adults.
• Outstanding Philanthropist: Howard and Sue Carver
• Outstanding Board Member: Kim Dufty
• Outstanding Business: Omni Real Estate
• Outstanding Citizen: Dr. Walter G. Briney
• Outstanding Educator: Chris Hall
• Outstanding Professional in a Nonprofit: Noelle Sivon
• Outstanding Volunteer: Mary Anne Johnston
• Outstanding Youth: Summit High School Mountain Dreamers
• Outstanding Youth Mentor: Aaron Landau and EVO3
• Community Collaboration: Youth Empowerment Society
• Spirit of the Summit: Mark and Deb Spiers
“I worked at Dillon Valley, and after I went to the high school I was able to see a lot of kids from DVE graduate,” Hall said. “They turn into mini adults. You get to see these kids achieve their potential. And I think that’s the nature of being a teacher, to make sure that all kids succeed and make sure you’re challenging them to go far.”
Working for 30 years in a single school district is a feat that very few people can cast a claim to. Hall said that despite all the years she’s been at Summit schools, the job never got old, due in part to the ability to transition between schools and grade levels.
“The one thing that kept me going was the change,” Hall said. “Change is important. It’s part of the love of learning.”
Hall is following that philosophy and making her own big change. After 30 years helping students become better people, Hall will be hanging up her spurs and retiring. She’s still considering what to do, but she’s excited for whatever next adventure she decides to take on next.
“It’s a little bit frightening, trying to figure out the next steps,” Hall said.
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