Teacher of the Issue: Stricker instilling habits, values in his students 

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Olivia Cooper

Coppell High School on-level and honors chemistry teacher Chris Stricker explains the concept of atom attributes to his third period class on Thursday. Stricker has worked in CISD for 26 years.

Manasa Mohan , Advertising and Circulation Manager

Coppell High School chemistry teacher, a former varsity girls soccer and boys varsity golf coach, Chris Stricker has been selected by The Sidekick as the October Teacher of the Issue. Having taught at CHS for 26 years and teaching chemistry for 23 years, Stricker has a great deal of experience teaching, on top of his extensive coaching career of 18 years. 

While Stricker was in high school, he originally sought to be a veterinarian, but decided in his senior year of high school and freshman year of college that veterinary school was not the right path for him. He then sought out a job as a pharmacist, but after shadowing a pharmacist in his freshman year at Ohio State University, the job failed to live up to his expectations.

Eventually, Stricker decided that education was the right fit for him and pursued a composite science degree allowing him to teach physics, biology and chemistry. 

“I was leading YoungLife, a high school ministry, in college at the time and I really enjoyed the high school age kids and I realized that I was good at science and I liked helping high school age kids,” Stricker said. “I always wanted to coach and for me, it was more about how I could motivate kids to be better and get them ready for the next level, so [teaching] was a perfect fit.”

Over the course of his career, Stricker has grown to use his background in coaching to help support and better his teaching Stricker also teaches both on-level and honors chemistry, and has developed a unique teaching style, that combines relational teaching with teaching that meets each student at their level, for both of his classes. 

With his honors classes, Stricker is able to push the students a little more, whereas Stricker works to motivate his on-level students to help them become next-level students.  

“He doesn’t just teach the material and leave us off to fend for ourselves,” CHS junior Mary Roach said. “He teaches us how to be responsible students, good friends and good people all while having fun learning. The leadership values I learned in his class I know I will use in the future and I think he helped me become the best version of myself.”

Aside from just the chemistry material or coaching club soccer, Stricker also works to push his students and club soccer athletes to become better leaders, better teammates and eventually better employees by instilling time-management and study habits in his students in order to help them become the best they can be. 

I am passionate about helping young people becoming the best versions of themselves and help them set goals and achieve [them]whether on the field or in the classroom,” Stricker said. “That is the reason I teach. My greatest reward is watching [my students] have success at the next level whether in college or in life.” 

Stricker coached varsity girls soccer for 18 years, the year before he stepped back from coaching was the year the team had won the state championship, making it more difficult to retire from coaching. Eventually, Stricker realized that it was the right decision for both him and his family to focus on teaching chemistry, allowing him to spend more time with his family. While he was coaching at CHS, Stricker also coached club soccer, but now he coaches at a higher level, allowing him to continue his passion. 

“I had missed a lot of my oldest son’s middle school athletics because I was coaching. It was really hard to step away, but to me, I care about my family and my kids more than I care about winning the state championship,” Stricker said.” I still love Coppell, but I don’t regret it because although it was a very tough decision, it was the right decision for my family.”

Although Sticker has not been involved in varsity girls soccer at CHS since 2016, he does have plans to return to the field when the timing is right. When he does make his return, he plans to coach either at the high school or college level. 

“I’ve known Coach Stricker since the first day he came to Coppell and began being a teacher and coach for us,” Coppell High School Principal Laura Springer said. “He is a great teacher and he relates so well to students. They love and respect him and he loves and respects them back. You will see him at just about every event that takes place, and he really supports our kids. He is just a cornerstone of Coppell High School. He is a man who shows up for kids every day and I sincerely appreciate it.”

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