LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Chris Loomis

Position: Student Activities Director and Counselor
School: Farmington High School
School District: Farmington Public Schools
City, State: Farmington, CT

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Chris Loomis was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

Mr. Loomis has dedicated his life to students, serving them as a school counselor, coach, advisor, and ultimately, as the Student Activities Director. He has naturally grown into important leadership roles for students and faculty alike.  No matter the role or situation, Mr. Loomis is a role model with high character and integrity. He is an advocate for students and an agent for change when it comes to equity and social justice.

As a counselor, Mr. Loomis provides his students with expertise for every possible situation and transition. He can seamlessly move from running a freshman seminar, to teaching a class on course selection with juniors, to holding a college planning session with a senior. No matter the grade or situation, Mr. Loomis is personally invested in the success of each and every student, often going above and beyond to support a student and family in need.

For many students and families, distance learning was difficult on many levels. A parent of three students at FHS reached out at the end of the school year, citing Mr. Loomis and his constant communication and support as the only reason that her children, who suffered social-emotionally and academically, made it through the end of the school year. This is just one example of his willingness to do everything in his power to help his students succeed.

Mr. Loomis is the faculty member who student-leaders turned to five years ago when a public incident brought race and equity to the forefront of the Farmington community. He provided these students with a mentor and a guide as they worked to educate their peers and give them a safe space to discuss these issues. The group developed the Social Justice Club, which has blossomed into a coalition of clubs dedicated to this important work. The clubs include the Asian American Club, Black Student Union, BRAVE, Gender and Sexuality Alliance, Indian Student Union, Jewish Student Union, Mental Health Awareness, Multicultural Student Union, and the Muslim Student Union.

Under Mr. Loomis' guidance, this coalition plans and executes the most important event held at FHS: Social Justice Week. This event empowers student voice in an organic, genuine manner, featuring over twenty presentations made by FHS students to their peers. This year, presentation topics included, but were not limited to, White Privilege, Cultural Appropriation, Gender & Sexuality, and Social / Racial Misconceptions. Attendance has grown exponentially over the last four years, to the point where students and advisors from all over the state attend in hopes of creating something similar at their own schools. The impact this event has had on FHS and the greater community cannot be measured by attendance and other data measures. You can only find true change in the hearts and minds of the students.

As the newly appointed Student Activities Director during the 2019-2020 school year, Mr. Loomis' ability to be flexible and creative helped keep the community together during the year, especially during distance learning. After the announcement that school building would be closed, Mr. Loomis quickly assembled his student leadership groups and jumped into action, developing Spirit Weeks, social media challenges, and other forums and activities to unite the students and faculty members under the FHS mantra, One School, One Community, One Us. This connection carried the FHS community through an unprecedented time in education.

"Farmington Public Schools, and especially Farmington High School is extremely fortunate to have Chris Loomis as a counselor, Student Activities Director, and leader," said the nominator. "Chris has a positive impact on hundreds, if not thousands of students on a yearly basis. His work is meaningful and deeply impacts our students in ways that support and challenge them to be the change they want to see in our community and world. His work makes me feel confident in the leadership of our future generation. This year, Chris and the Social Justice Leadership Council have planned amazing things for Social Justice Week and beyond. Chris is empowering one student at a time and changing lives in an impactful and long-lasting way."

Comments (6)

Rebekah Van De Mark Posted over a year ago

Chris Loomis exudes kindness, compassion and helpfulness. I have the unique perspective of knowing him as my children's high school counselor and as a community member for the town in which I teach elementary school. In all arenas, Chris puts others before himself and leads by example. As my children's counselor, Chris has been engaged and supportive every step of the way. He has shown genuine concern for them and was available at any time, in or out of school hours, to discuss or assist them in any way. His caring for them has influenced them in such a positive way. Having an adult in high school that you know is in your corner has made a true difference to them as they navigate their high school years and look towards their next steps. As a resident of the community in which I teach, I have seen the difference Chris makes in the lives of those in his own community. He coaches several youth sports teams and his positivity and focus on experience and sportsmanship is more than apparent to all. Above all else, he teaches kids that character counts and he does this through his own personal example. I can't imagine anyone else more deserving of this honor. Chris Loomis is a Life Changer.

Michael Rafferty Posted over a year ago

I have known Chris since he was in fourth grade at Old Saybrook Middle School. Chris was a fun and adventurous kid, and was popular with all of his classmates. He did well in his school work as well as in the school and town sports! I witnessed his pre-adolescent development through eighth grade, and followed his successes throughout his Old Saybrook high School experiences. During his senrior year he volunteereed time to help an adopted, struggling, very angry boy who needed someone to look up to like a big brother... Chris was phenomenal in his approach, with a caring and supportive attitude, and a true commitment to this child who was in a very precarious situation. Chris and I kept in contact throughout his undergraduate years at Sacred Heart University, and I hired him as a substitute paraprofessional at OSMS when he was home on school vacations. Chris continued to support this middle school student and helped him to understand what positive relationships can mean. Chris was very successful in his undergraduate collegiate program and we talked a great deal about what he wanted to do for a profession. Chris had a genuine understanding of adolescent psychology, a solid commitment to helping students and families, and a willingness to always do more than expected. He determined he wanted to be a school counselor and he worked hard to become that person. We have been in contact throughout his exemplary career and he continually grows as a school counselor. As the retired Old Saybrook Middle School Principal with forty-five years as a professional educator (and now eight more years as an interim building administrator throughout Connecticut), and as an adjunct instructor for undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate classes, I have had countless mentees... without question Chris is the MOST outstanding one in my career! I have great respect for Chris as a person and as an educator. His first priority in his life is his family... his wife, his two sons and his extended family. His priority as an educator is based on the premise that all decisions must be made for what is the best for this individual child and/or group of students. His attributes include a strong moral and ethical character, integrity, determination, and a commitment to help others. Chris sees the "big picture" by being a realistic listener. He is creative, dedicated to do his best always, thinks "out of the box", and advises his colleagues, parents and students to evaluate what is important to them. He is an exceptionally caring and loving person. He models personal health, and he encourages all of his students to be mentally, emotionally and physically healthy. Chris will always be a "kid at heart"... from teaching, counseling, student activities coordinator, coaching and mentoring he fully engages in what is important to each adolescent. He is a friend to everyone! I have had the professional and personal honor to observe Farmington High School's Annual Social Justice Week for several years... it is one of the most profound and phenomenal opportunities for high school students to be be engaged and to develop a sense of understanding and acceptance of differences in our society. This program is a state-wide model! Chris has been an integral part of this program and is a professional leader in this effort. Chris was honored and truly humbled by being selected Farmington Public Schools Teacher of the Year 2020-2021... a most well-deserved selection! As a nominee for this special award he is an exemplary example of how important it is to have exceptional educators in each student's life. As we say here in Old Saybrook on Long Island Sound... "Chris is a Keeper!!!"

Leslie Imse Posted over a year ago

Chris Loomis is a school leader who cares for our community. His job responsibilities include the Student Activities Director, Social Justice Co-Coordinator and Guidance Counselor. How he continues to keep up with all of his job responsibilities we will never know! What is truly amazing about Chris is his capacity to love and care fo all of us. He is the ambassador of goodness at our school He always has time for those in need and empowers the rest of us to follow suit, taking care of each other. As a teacher nearing the end of my career, I see a bright future for education with leaders like Chris. He gives our profession hope. As a school leader, he is empowering colleagues and student leaders. I am proud to be his friend and colleague, he is well deserving of this award.

Alex Schwartz Posted over a year ago

Chris is a listener and a giver. These qualities allow him to connect to others and simultaneously empower them to do the same: listen and give. Moreover, there is no exhaustion when Chris listen's and gives, due to the fact that he finds ultimate gratification in helping others. Truly, this is what inspires others to approach Chris, work with him, and learn from him. I am proud that he was nominated as I am certain the family and school members he has worked with are too.

Navva Sedigh Posted over a year ago

One day at school, I was visibly distraught thinking I had missed a college application deadline. Mr. Loomis was not even my guidance counselor but he pulled me aside to check what was wrong, asked for the name of the school, and sent me on my way. Fifteen minutes later, he walked into my classroom and handed me a printed copy of the school’s admissions application calendar, reassuring me that I had not missed any deadlines and offering his support if I needed any help. Four years later, I am one semester from graduating from the very same college he helped me apply to and I have not forgotten how Mr. Loomis went out of his way to help a student who was not one of his own. I cannot overstate how much that encounter meant to me and how lucky FHS is to have Mr. Loomis.

Abby Stepka Posted over a year ago

Mr. Loomis left such a lasting impact on me when I attended FHS. During my senior year of high school I completed a project to help me decide what career I wanted to pursue in college and with help from Mr Loomis I decided that I wanted to be school counselor. I have always looked up to Mr Loomis and I strive to make an impact on students someday like he made for me and so many others. Mr. Loomis is a great role model and person who definitely deserves this Lifechanger of the Year Award.