Chris is a positive thinker, playful and engaged dad, author, eternal optimist, professional speaker, former school principal and Think:Kids certified in Collaborative Problem Solving® (CPS). CPS is a research based approach for understanding and dealing with challenging behaviour in children. CPS can help support student mental health and help reduce bullying behaviour by teaching critical cognitive skills.
Chris has spent his entire adult life teaching and learning. A skilled teacher and school principal with over 35 years of experience, Chris has helped students, teachers and parents learn, grow and “be the best they can be”.
Chris’ core belief is that people, big and small, young and old, “do well if they can.” The thirty-five years he spent as a teacher, coach, vice-principal and principal were focussed on learning for students, teachers and parents. Most students learn quickly. They need little teacher input before they “spread their wings and soar.” Unfortunately it isn’t that smooth for everyone. Sometimes kids get lost, don’t engage or don’t do well. The paradox is that we often give more attention to the kids who are already doing well, the kids who need less of our time and teaching skills. The kids who aren’t doing well are neglected, ignored or suspended from school when in fact they are the ones who need us most. They are the ones who are trying the hardest to succeed. Chris believes these kids deserve the same level of compassion, empathy and our efforts as the more successful kids. This led him to develop, with his staff, school-wide approaches (named after his last school) such as “Palermo Reads, Palermo Counts and Palermo Cares” to help kids achieve high results in a safe, positive community oriented environment with CPS as the cornerstone.
Chris has over over 12 years of personal and professional experience using the CPS model with kids and teaching the model to staff members, parents and his own family. He has seen outstanding results in the development of a variety of cognitive skills including:
- Frustration Tolerance
- Cognitive Flexibility
- Problem Solving
Chris is the Board Chair of the Oakville Community Youth in Action Network (CYAN). The CYAN provides leadership training and volunteer opportunities for Oakville/Halton youth ages 12-18 that support the enhancement of Developmental Assets. Chris lives in Oakville Ontario with his wife and four children, and three grandchildren nearby. As he told his students over the years “the only way to truly be happy in life is to serve others.” He continues to do this personally, and professionally through his work with CYAN and by teaching others about CPS and the benefits for kids.