February Top Notch Teacher: Chris Sullivan

Sullivan is a business education teacher at Holmen

February Top Notch Teacher: Chris...

HOLMEN, Wis. - Learning things like making a budget and filing taxes are not always associated with high school.

But one Holmen high school teacher took a big pay cut to help teach students those important life lessons.
Holmen high school business education teacher Chris Sullivan wasn't always planning to be a teacher.

"I started out at an investment firm and ran a successful book and business there, but at the end of the day I still wasn't happy, so I went back to school and got my education degree, and 8 years later, here I am,” Sullivan said.

Through that experience, Sullivan is teaching what he believes to be the most important skills for students in this age.

"(I’m teaching) banking and checking, saving for retirement, and debit and credit cards,” Sullivan said.

Those skills are applicable for everyone, Sullivan said.

"The skills we are teaching, are skills that are universal,” Sullivan said. “They are skills that whether you are the doctor or whether you are the cashier, it's important for you to know how to manage your money."

For students who've had Sullivan, they know the classes he's taught will continue with them for years to come.

"There's so many things that without Mr. Sullivan and all the knowledge he tells us, I wouldn't ever know how to do in the next step of life,” Holmen senior Cortney Christnovich said.

"He is just one of those teachers that sits down with you, and he spells out basically how you can get through life without falling into those pitfalls that most people commonly would,” Holmen senior Carter Englerth said.

"The things that he teaches aren't necessarily the most fun things to learn about, I mean, who really wants to learn about taxes and wrap IRAs and all that kind of stuff, but he teaches with such an enthusiasm that you can't help but want to learn about it,” Holmen senior Devyn Martinez said.

While teaching isn't as lucrative as his past career, this job pays in a much different way.

"The lightbulb moments are why you get into teaching,” Sullivan said.

In addition to teaching, Sullivan is the varsity golf coach as well as an 8th grade basketball coach at Holmen.

Sullivan said those extra responsibilities allow him to  teach lessons outside the classroom.

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