Christine Edwards Serves as the Math Department Chair for FHN


Credit to Grace Pinson

Christine Edwards talks to the rest of the FHN math teachers about lesson plans. Edwards is the head of the math department at FHN. Edwards has always wanted to have a position that allowed her more leadership and being head of the math department is a step in the direction of having a larger impact on more students

Every subject at FHN has a department chair. This includes Christine Edwards, whom students may not know is the math department chair for FHN. Edwards was named the department chair in July of 2021. Tim Besse was the department chair for the previous six years before Edwards. 

“I chose to become a math teacher because when I was in high school [and] my geometry teacher inspired me to challenge others to further their understanding in subjects that they weren’t necessarily good at,” Edwards said. “So math was not always my strongest subject. And I just wanted to help more people be better at something that maybe wasn’t their strength.”

A department chair job looks different than a normal teachers job since they are managing the entire department and helping teachers in their subject. To be a department chair, you have to go through the interview process like applying for a normal job and then the hiring team selects the best candidate for the job. 

“I’m in charge of the math department budget and making sure that the teachers have as much as they need to help their students be successful,”  Edwards said. “I am in monthly meetings with the department chairs at the other high schools and the math content leader for the district to ensure we as a district are in the same place. I’m in charge of managing all the logistics of class schedules and teacher schedules and making sure students are placed appropriately in courses.”

Edwards’ job includes going to multiple meetings with other department chairs and the principals as well as making sure the communication between math teachers is clear and strong to help create a smooth running department. She also helps make sure that the new math teachers feel supported and are successful throughout the school year. Edward hopes to build her communication skills and listen to teachers feedback and what they need to have a great educational environment.

“She’s expressed to me how many people are here to support me and show me that all the teachers here want to help,” Math teacher Rachel Pirrone said.

Edwards’ goals as math department chair is to increase EOC scores in the subjects that are struggling as well as to increase ACT math scores. Also, she would like to see an increase in enrollment of math classes to help expand students math abilities and help them to have more math credits on their college applications. She plans to accomplish this by forming a fun and informative educational environment and hopes students will take away that they can achieve anything they put their minds to.

“She taught in a way that made it feel like I wasn’t even learning and she was always energetic,” sophomore SaVanna Daniels.

Being a department chair is not an easy job and it takes a lot of effort. Edwards has found ways to help stay organized and make sure things run smoothly using past math Department Chair Besse’s methods as well as her own methods.

“I would like to have a larger impact on the school and the community,” Edwards said. “Also, I would like to have an impact on the district as a whole and then potentially be some sort of a district leader to help on an even larger scale in the future.”