James Madison University

Chris Atkins

PHOTO: Chris Atkins

Chris Atkins (2001) has been working at South Jefferson Elementary School for four years and was just named Jefferson County Teacher of the year for 2010. He was also included in Biltmore's Who's Who in the Nation.

At South Jefferson, Chris is involved with the Healthy Ambassadors group. His efforts helped result in an award from the Clinton Foundation's Alliance for a Healthier Generation. South Jefferson received the Bronze level and was one of only 180 in the nation to receive this recognition.

Chris says "They [Healthy Ambassadors] are a group of highly motivated students that want to not only change our school, but other schools as well.  We have a garden that we are starting in the spring, events like Mother/Son Olympics and a soccer tournament.  We are also sponsoring the blood drive, the Hoops for Heart, and the National MS Society Walk in the spring. "

In addition to his work with students, he has also started a staff wellness program that consists of wellness screenings, monthly outings for activities such as white water rafting, paintball, bowling, and roller-skating. He says "Living in the mountains has its advantages because we have excellent hiking available."

On a personal note, Chris was married in August of 2009 and had his first child, a boy, in September of 2010.