2023 National Honor Society Educator of the Year


Chris Hood

National Honor Society Educator of the Year Chris Hood, who teaches science at High School East

Christina de la Rocha, Journalism Block 4AC

Every year at Shen just before teacher appreciation week, the National Honor Society sends out a poll to seniors asking them to vote for their favorite teacher, past or present. The winner of this poll is deemed the NHS Educator of the Year. This year, the voted winner is Mr. Hood, one of Shenendehowa’s beloved science teachers. 

Although the poll results speak for themselves, his colleagues and students speak very highly of him. Mr. Hood is known not only to be good at physically teaching his students, but connecting with each and every one of them on a personal level. 

Mr. St. Denis, a fellow science teacher who has worked alongside Mr. Hood for over 20 years, points out his ability to empathize with students. “He creates a welcoming and safe space for all students. He makes learning fun and accessible. If you spend any time seeing Mr. Hood interact with students, it is immediately apparent that there is a sincere mutual respect. This is the best kind of teacher, where students want to succeed because they know Mr. Hood cares about them and they don’t want to let him down.”

Briana Dorr, a senior in one of Mr. Hood’s college forensics classes, shares the same sentiments with Mr. St. Denis. “He’s one of those teachers who asks you how your day is going every time he sees you. Stuff like that goes a long way. He knows everything about all of his students and cares for their well-being.” Briana also reported that Mr. Hood attended her senior night for track and field last week. 

Upon receiving the news that he was voted as educator of the year, Mr. Hood was in total disbelief. “I was overwhelmed at first. I thought of the hundreds of teachers that deserve it more than me. I was honored that of all people, I came to my students’ minds,” he recalled. That being said, the fact that he was voted out of a pool of hundreds of hard-working teachers at Shen speaks volumes to his worthiness.

Mr. Hood has been a teacher at Shen for 21 years. He started off as just a biology teacher, then added college forensics to his repertoire 10 years ago and has been teaching both classes ever since. Throughout these 21 years, he has touched the hearts and minds of thousands of students. 

Mr. Hood revealed that the approach he takes in his classroom is openness. “I try to be understanding of all of the issues my students face. I’m willing to work with them with whatever problems they come to me with. My goal is for everyone in my classroom to have a positive experience.”

“Even though I’m not going into forensics, he made me really enjoy the class. His smile is contagious, and his interest in the subject makes me interested in what he’s teaching.”, Briana says.

Students: as you are making your rounds and expressing your gratitude towards your teachers during teacher appreciation week, be sure to congratulate Mr. Hood if you see him in the hallways. 

“I don’t know if I can thank my students or express my gratitude enough for thinking of me when going to nominate somebody for this title. It means a lot. It’s something I will cherish forever.”