Chris Peter discovered his academic love late in life when he had a college history professor who finally made “history come to life” through her stories. Now, as a teacher at Randolph-Macon Academy Middle School, Mr. Peter hopes to do the same for his young students.
Mr. Peter came to Randolph-Macon Academy in the fall of 2015, new to teaching in a classroom but not new to the concepts of teaching. Since 2005 he has been coaching in various venues from high schools to recreation leagues to colleges and even in his own successful soccer academy.
“I feel like there is a huge correlation between teaching and coaching,” he said. “The more passionate I am about a subject, the more they latch onto it.” And with a passion for both history and soccer, Mr. Peter has no trouble engaging the middle school students on the field or in the classroom.
After graduating from Shenandoah University with a B.S. in history, Mr. Peter played soccer semi-professionally with the Winchester Impact from 2006 to 2008. His coaching experience includes time as the goalkeeper trainer at Sherando High School (volunteering while still in college), two seasons at Handley High School, and several years as an assistant coach at Shenandoah University. In 2010, he began his own business, Shenandoah Soccer Academy. The program, which provides training programs and summer camps for a variety of ages, quickly grew into full-time work.
However, Mr. Peter’s objective had never been to own his own business, so 2015 found him in the classroom at R-MA Middle School. “I have worked with middle school aged athletes a lot,” he commented. “I really enjoy this age. It’s a wonderful time to help them develop as people. It’s a time when they’re making big decisions as to who they’re going to be. I just want to have a good impact on them as kids.”
With the middle school age group, Mr. Peter has found that students enjoy going off on tangents, but he has an easy solution for handling that. “We do history wherever we go. If we’re in a different place, it’s still history. Who, where, why, when, how…the same question apply wherever we are. History is our thing, where we go is our venue, and we just match it with energy.”
Mr. Peter holds State, Regional, and National Advanced Goal Keeping Diplomas, as well as a National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), and a Virginia State “E” and “F” license in coaching soccer. When he’s not telling stories to inspire a love of history or on the soccer field coaching, he might be surfing, fishing, hiking, biking, or spending time with his wife Katherine Debord-Peter and their young daughter.
- B.S., Shenandoah University
- Classes: Geography, Civics, U.S. History, World History, Physical Education
- R-MA Mentor and Assistant Coach of Middle School Boys' Soccer