Meet Senior Instructor at Young Mariners Academy, Chris Witschy! Get to know Chris below!
How many years have you been with Young Mariners?
I am one of the original instructors, so this is going to be my fourteenth summer with Young Mariners!
What is your role at Young Mariners?
I am the co-director of Young Mariners Academy, as well as being an instructor. That means I help keep everyone organized and safe and keep camp running smoothly. On the instructor side – I usually teach our third-year students, on Laser and Laser Radial boats, focusing on racing rules and strategy. On land, we focus on humanities – history, geography, and the arts. We make connections between the history and geography of Stamford and Long Island Sound and sailing skills.
For the rest of the year, I am a Stamford Public Schools Teacher. I was a music teacher and band director for 17 years. This year I started a new position as a design specialist at Rogers International School.
What is your favorite part about being an Instructor?
My favorite part about being an instructor? That’s easy! I love seeing the growth of our students year upon year. The growth of a student from a first-year learning the basics on an Opti, to a third-year learning the exciting world of racing, to a high school intern, helping younger students learn all the things they learned is an amazing thing to see and be a part of.
What is your favorite Young Mariners activity?
The one thing I look forward to every year is our Southfield Series, our annual intramural racing series. The sportsmanship and skill shown by our students amazes me every year. Our students try their hardest every year, but more importantly, support and respect each other, cheering each other on, and pushing everyone to do their best. It always brings out the best in everyone, and I’m proud to be part of it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time, hah! If I’m not on the water or in a classroom, I’m probably fixing something in my 115-year-old house, playing my tuba somewhere (I’ve toured China twice), or watching a hockey game (GO RANGERS!!!!).
What are your certifications?
I have CPR and First Aid certification from the American Red Cross, as well as my Level 1 Instructor certification from US Sailing.
I am a certified CT teacher, with endorsements in Music Education and Special Education. I am currently working towards a certification in Technology Education.
I have my Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Valparaiso University, and my Master’s degree in Special Education from Western Governors University.
I am also a Google certified educator.
Name one fun fact about yourself.
I’m a die-hard fan of the only team to play in 4 straight Super Bowls 🙂
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