Scarlett D., Senior
This past fall there was new addition to the Northwest School Math department, algebra 2 and calculus teacher, Chris Talone. Born and raised in Southern California, Chris moved from his home state for the first time to Seattle last July, and started working at the Northwest school immediately after. Being his 28th year teaching, to say the least, Chris is extremely qualified. He attended UCLA where he received three degrees, a bachelor in science and math, a masters in teaching math and a doctorate in education and educational leadership. He then went on to teach essentially every core math course, including, pre algebra, algebra, geometry, pre calculus, calculus and statistics.
Throughout Chris’ schooling he did not nesaseraly know that he wanted to become a math teacher. Although he had always enjoyed his math classes, the course itself did not always come naturally to him. Despite these difficulties he found solving challenging problems to be extremely satisfying and made a career out of his diligence and ability to persevere. Chris now bases his teaching techniques off of the way he liked to learn. In describing his teaching philosophy, Chris stated, “I try to be as clear as I possibly can. I like to provide a reason why the material is important, I like to give a lot of examples and I like to make sure the students know exactly what is expected of them.” This style appears to be working very well for Northwest School students, many of whom feel Chris’ straightforward style is exactly what they need to understand complex mathematical concepts.
Although Chris fits well into any community he is apart of, many of his previous teaching jobs were quite different from Northwest. He had formerly worked at an all girls school in Los Angeles, that was more structurally strict and had varying community values. He notes that although he enjoyed his old job he likes the freedom he has as a teacher at Northwest, and enjoys that there is not a mandatory curriculum he necessarily has to follow. Chris actually heard about the Northwest School while he was at the infamous Starbucks Roastery on Pike. He states, “I was walking up the street and saw the 401 building and saw that it was a private school. I checked if they were hiring and sure enough they were!”
In addition to being a great math teacher, many of Chris’ students remark not only about his helpful teaching techniques and high qualifications, but also comment on his extremely engaging and funny personal stories. As the Northwest community got to know Chris better during trimester one, his students uncovered some pretty exciting things. About 20 years ago Chris worked at the all girls catholic Marymount High School in Los Angeles, where he taught Kim and Kourtney Kardashian geometry their freshmen year. At the time, Chris and the other faculty did not know how famous the two sisters would become, yet he remarks it is funny now looking back at the experience. He states, “Now all the teachers and I that taught them laugh about it, we had no idea.”
Many students also account Chris for “being in the right place at the right time”. This past November Chris Talone won $1,500 for the Wahl Man of the year “Best Beard Contest”. Chris shared with his students that while exploring Pike Place Market this previous summer he was approached and nominated for the “Best Bear of Seattle”. After winning, he was nominated for the “Best Beard of America” in which he was put on a poll on the Whal Man of the Year Facebook, where anyone could vote for for the best beard, including Chris and ten other nominees. Students were then determined to help Chris win, and the majority of his class voted for him, leading him to victory!
Although Chris has only been apart of the Northwest community for several months, he has already made a huge impact on his class and coworkers. Students really enjoy his “straight-forward approach”, and feel as though his teaching style is exactly what they need to understand complex mathematical concepts. Cooper M., senior and one of Chris Talone’s calculus students stated, “Chris Talone is pretty much the GOAT (greatest of all time) of Northwest, he’s just not caught up in all the BS that many of the other teachers are.” Northwest as a whole is extremely grateful to have Chris Talone as a new community member, and looks forward to future years with him in the math department.