After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education from Angelo State University in 1993, Chris Shade began teaching fifth grade at Pleasanton Elementary School in Pleasanton, TX, just south of San Antonio, for two years before relocating to Abilene to teach fourth grade at Valley View Elementary School while working on a Master of Education in administration at Abilene Christian University.
Upon graduation in 1997, Shade moved to Clyde Elementary School serving one year as an assistant principal before being promoted to principal of Hamby Elementary School also in the Clyde Consolidated Independent School District. A year later, Shade returned home to Clyde Elementary School to become the principal and remained until 2005. Despite being the fourth principal in five years at Clyde Elementary School, in his final year as principal, the school earned statewide recognition for being a consistently high performing Title I funded campus over the three prior years. While principal, Shade served as President of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association in District 14. While principal, Shade provided a number of professional development workshop sessions, which sparked his passion for presenting and public speaking.
Education Service Center (ESC) Region 7 offered Shade a position as a Title I consultant and later coordinator. After speaking in a number of districts and locations through the state, an opportunity arose to work alongside the Texas Education Agency as a education specialist for the School Improvement Resource Center housed at ESC Region 13. While working with campuses identified as in need of improvement in Regions 7, 8, 9, 11, 16, and 17 in addition to working with all districts in the state identified for district improvement, Shade traveled the state assisting schools and districts continuing to present at a number of ESCs and statewide conferences as well as a national conference. A year later, Shade moved to the Metroplex and began working for ESC Region 11 as an assessment specialist.
In 2009, Shade returned to the district and to his roots in working with campuses that receive Title I after accepting a job as the Director of Federal Programs in Denton ISD. Two years into the role, Shade was tapped to oversee the comprehensive needs assessment and the district and campus improvement planning process. In this additional role, Shade began to lead the Educational Improvement Council (EIC), the Denton ISD site-based decision-making committee. His first order of progress was to align the district and campus mission, vision, values, and goals, the four pillars of a Professional Learning Community. Starting with the mission, Shade led the 60+ member EIC through the development of a new mission statement based on community feedback through social media (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) and traditional media outlets (i.e. the local newspaper). Once crafted, Shade led the EIC in rebranding the district and its logo by crowdsourcing the design of the logo to reflect the newly adopted mission statement. Artists across the globe contributed to the finished product. In 2013, Denton ISD was invited to become a part of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium as an associate member district; and the Visioning Document served as the Denton ISD vision for the future of education. To strengthen the involvement of district parents, business and community members, Shade led a communitywide book study of Schools Cannot Do It Alone: Building Public Support for America’s Public Schools by Jamie Vollmer, author of the notable “blueberries” story. Shade led the 50+ member Denton Community Council of PTAs officers, the 45 member board of the United Way of Denton County, and the 60+ member EIC in a communitywide discussion centered on the changes needed for 21st Century learners. The following year, Shade led the EIC through the development of community-based accountability system as the Denton ISD community has long sought its students and teachers to be measured by more than one score on one day. Believing the perception of schools and the district’s successes should be judged by more than an accountability rating, the district asked its residents what they found to be important in judging the quality of a school district. Specifically, through the distribution of more than 30,000 invitations for members of the community to help the develop the report, the community was asked, “What do you value?” Through the process, four core areas were identified, “Teaching and Learning; Opportunities for Students; Culture and Climate; and Growth and Management.” Based on community feedback, a set of goals and parameters for measurement were established with the intent to release the community report on the same day the TEA releases its accountability ratings. Currently, Shade is leading the district in its pursuit as a “District of Innovation” (DOI) serving as the chair of the 60+ member DOI Committee made up of educators, parents, business and community members charged with the creation of a plan of innovation including the identification of Texas Education Code rules inhibiting the district mission and its ability to innovate.
While working for Denton ISD, Shade has continued to present professional development sessions not only in Denton ISD, but in numerous education entities across the state including districts, campuses, ESCs, and statewide conferences in addition to providing a number of keynote addresses in a variety of venues. In 2016, Shade requested to drop to part-time to devote time to his personal health and to pursue his passion for public speaking. If interested in securing Chris for a speaking engagement, visit the “Contact Me” page.