Class of 2004, Chris Garrison

Katya Tolunsky, Staff Writer

As a student, school registrar Chris Garrison ‘04 never imagined he would return to the school to work. “It was a weird path that I took to get here,” he said. “None of it was planned.”

In college, Garrison developed a new appreciation for the school after realizing how rare it is to have such an engaged student body, he said.

“I distinctly remember being so weirded out by the fact that nobody around me cared about some of the most interesting classes I was enrolled in,” he said.

Garrison loved the student body’s enthusiasm about learning: that love hasn’t changed. However, he said that he has noticed that the social life at school has evolved to be more inclusive and supportive than it once was.

“It used to be that if you didn’t fit in as, say, an athlete, theater person, or art person, there wasn’t necessarily a well-defined place for you in the community,” Garrison said. “Now the school has really developed a lot of different areas in the school, so that just about any type of student can find their place here.”

Garrison also appreciates the school’s efforts to create a fun environment outside the classroom.

“In large part due to the work of Dr. Delanty and Caroline Bartels to make sure that the students really enjoy their life outside of the classroom and the ‘non-academic’ aspects of their school life.”

Garrison loved theater as a student, and developed a passion for teaching through working at a theater camp for many years, he said.

Initially, Garrison was hesitant to return to his alma mater, as his mother, MD Mathematics teacher Susan Garrison, his father, Upper Division (UD) tutor Lionel Garrison Jr., and his sister, MD History teacher Catherine Garrison ’01 also work at the school.

“I wanted to be sure I was making a decision that made sense for me and not just following my parents path,” he said. “I think it sort of just happened that way and I couldn’t be happier.”

Garrison does not see his family on school grounds as often as one might think. “There was a time when I was working in Spence cottage, my mom was working in the MD, my dad was working in the UD, and my sister was working in the Lower Division (LD). So we were really all over the place and only seeing each other occasionally.”

When Garrison attended his 10 year high school reunion, his former classmates weren’t surprised that he ended up where he did, he said.

“They understood how connected I felt to the school, by virtue of the fact that I have seen it from so many different perspectives,” Garrison said.