Chris Colbath-Hess

I attended Boston College as an undergraduate and my degree is in philosophy and communications. After graduation, I began working at the Cambridge YMCA in their School Age Childcare Program and found I loved working with that age range. I went to grad school in 1989 to get my elementary teaching certification. Jobs were not readily available then, so I taught in a Catholic School for part of a year, then worked for the City of Cambridge managing their school age child care programs for 3 years. In 1993, I was hired to teach 3rd grade in a newly created classroom. (I was interviewed on the Friday before Labor Day and students came to school on the following Thursday.)

I taught 3rd grade for 11 years, while raising my 2 kids, and then took a year to get another Masters Degree in School Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. When I returned to my school, I trained to be a Literacy Collaborative literacy coach and worked in that position until 2009.

During that time, I was also increasingly active in our district union. I left the classroom entirely in 2009 to be the President of our teachers’ union. (Our union has 1100 members and the district pays the salary the full time release president.) I left the union position in 2014 to begin my current position as the district’s Manager of Educator Development. In this role, I select and train mentors, and plan and design new teacher orientation and the new teacher induction and learning seminars. In addition, I chair a joint labor/management Professional Development committee that provides input and guidance for district wide professional learning. I oversee and provide continuity for district wide professional learning for all employees, including managing the online system, course approval, and evaluation.