Quantifying Chris Sharpe’s mean-ingful influence


STATISTICS WITH A SMILE: Math teacher Chris Sharpe teaches AP Statistics with enthusiastic energy and kindness.

Riya Gupta, Sports Editor

Excited chatter fills the air as the clock ticks closer to the start of class. The warm Friday sun pours in through the windows, casting a golden glow on the faces of Statistics students as they take their seats in Room 1025. Anticipation for the weekend is palpable, but as soon as math teacher Chris Sharpe strides in, all eyes turn to the front of the room.

With his infectious energy, Sharpe wastes no time diving into the lesson for the day. However, these are some of Sharpe’s last lessons because he will be retiring this year after 38 years of teaching and coaching at Northwood.

“Northwood has given me a lot of different opportunities, things to try that I hadn’t really considered,” Sharpe said. “I was able to teach classes to the depth I never thought I would.” 

One such opportunity that Sharpe recounts was his chance to be the first teacher of the College Preparatory math class, which has now expanded to becoming a dual-enrollment course in collaboration with Irvine Valley College. It is because of his success in teaching the class that College Preparatory has become available in every other IUSD high school.

“Mr. Sharpe cares about his students not only in the academic sense, but he also cares about student well-being,”AP Statistics senior Eugenie Chang said. “It has really enriched the educational experience because I feel comfortable in an environment where I am not afraid to ask questions regarding the content or personal problems.”

 During his time at Northwood, Sharpe has also coached a variety of sports on campus including soccer, basketball, track and tennis, giving him the opportunity to interact with students outside of the classroom.

“Coaching sports was just a different aspect of the Northwood students that I got to experience and be a part of,” Sharpe said. “Seeing that helped make it a more enjoyable experience.”

Before Northwood, Sharpe taught at James Logan High School and Saddleback High School. Nineteen years later, he came to Northwood High School. Sharpe has taught several math classes at Northwood, challenging students to explore different areas of the subject matter. 

Reflecting back on his experiences, Sharpe advises students to not take things quite so seriously. While it is important to have a direct focus, he urges students to have fun once in a while to find their passion and gain a better sense of who they are.

“You have the time to try different things,” Sharpe said. “That’s always a good thing.”

As he looks forward to retirement, Sharpe hopes to have the time to relax and pursue different activities like biking, gardening and traveling. In particular, he hopes to visit Australia and Iceland as they are on the top of his bucket travel list.

“I’m looking forward to not having as many responsibilities,” Sharpe said. “I just want to be able to truly take it easy.”