Head of the class

Justin Dickie
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Oxford Regional High Schools Don Christie one of Cumberland Countys top teachers

OXFORD Don Christie had a lot of career options after completing his undergraduate degree. It looks like he picked the right one.

Thirty-one years after walking through the doors of Oxford Regional High School to teach for the first time, Christie is officially an excellent teacher.

Nominated by vice-principal Judy Davis, teaching peers Keith Hunter and Carol Ann King, parent Bev Clark, and

Head of the class

OXFORD Don Christie had a lot of career options after completing his undergraduate degree. It looks like he picked the right one.

Thirty-one years after walking through the doors of Oxford Regional High School to teach for the first time, Christie is officially an excellent teacher.

Nominated by vice-principal Judy Davis, teaching peers Keith Hunter and Carol Ann King, parent Bev Clark, and student Virginia King, Christie was one of 15 teachers across the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board to receive an Excellence in Teaching award this year.

"It felt very humbling. I was very honoured, but mostly very surprised. I had no idea this was happening," Christie said. "After you think about it, you feel very flattered."

Christie started teaching at Oxford Regional High School in 1976 after attending Mount Allison University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in three years. He was offered a full scholarship to go anywhere in the world and study anything science-related. He wanted to go to work, so he turned it down, took a bachelor of education degree, and went to ORHS.

Over the years, hes taught math, science, language arts, French, social studies and gym and coached badminton, soccer, and basketball. Hes also refereed basketball for 23 years and has been actively involved with the church community and the Lions Club. Davis has been vice-principal at ORHS for three years. Shes gotten to know Christie well during her tenure.

"Ive seen kindness, compassion, and a great deal of reciprocal respect between Don and his students," Davis said. "Ive seen Don give more time, support, and energy to the students than the Oxford community could ever be aware of."

Christie said hes had success because he breaks down concepts into "bite-size, understandable steps," which makes things easier for students. Hes had students tell him hes their all-time favourite teacher, something he said reminds him of why he chose the profession.

"That makes me very proud and very satisfied that I chose the right profession and very pleased that I was able to reach so many kids. It makes it all worth while," he said. "I could have done a lot of other things. I could have been a doctor, I could have done whatever I wanted. I had all these options, but I turned them all down because I wanted to teach.

"I guess when you do something that long, for 31 years, you get good at it."

Organizations: Oxford Regional High School, Central Regional School Board, Mount Allison University Lions Club

Geographic location: Oxford, Chignecto

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