New history teacher brings trivia talent to the classroom

    If you recognize Country Day’s new high school history teacher, Christopher Arns, you may have seen him on “Jeopardy!” on July 15.

    He didn’t win, but he has brought his knack for trivia to Country Day, along with more than 10 years of teaching experience. He is teaching world history, U.S. history and Advanced Placement U.S. History.

Before coming to Country Day, Arns worked at St. Francis for four years, teaching a combination of history and English. However, Arns found a greater calling with the Cavaliers.

“I’ve always had my eye on Country Day, even before I went to St. Francis,” Arns said. “I love that it’s an independent school.”

Before committing to education, Arns wanted to be a writer. 

“The teacher option won out, so I kind of did more to get a career in teaching,” he said.

He was also a reporter, and the internal struggle was not easy for him.

“I was going back and forth, and eventually I decided I liked teaching because I don’t like interviewing people.”

Arns said he is really impressed with Country Day students and the school’s mission.

A small, tight knit community, Country Day reminded Arns of his own education spent at Waldorf schools. So, unhappy with the restrictions of the Catholic-based St. Francis, Arns decided to make the switch.

“I think previously, while I had many good experiences at St. Francis, I’ve always been wanting to embrace the full aspects of equity, and that’s not exactly something you can do at St. Francis,” he said.

Outside the classroom, Arns is both a gardener and trivia whiz.

“When I was younger, there’d be times where I’d be at home, watching the TV, and I would always think to myself, ‘I could be on the show; I could get these questions right,’” he said.

When not pursuing trivia, Arns also enjoys playing the banjo and reviewing food, partaking in olive oil and coffee tasting.

“I’m kind of becoming more and more of a food geek. I really am interested in learning the history of food, especially as it relates to colonialism and trade and everything,” Arns said. 

In addition to tasting food, Arns likes watching media such as “Star Wars” and “Good Will Hunting”, and enjoys TV shows from other countries, like “Squid Game” and “Borgen.” 

Arns is excited to be a part of the Country Day community and is looking forward to the rest of the year.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know all the students better, as well as my colleagues and fellow teachers,” he said. “I’m really excited to do a lot of new things and be in a community that’s complementary to a lot of my goals as an educator.”

— By Daniel Holz

Originally published in the Sept. 28 edition of The Octagon.

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