Dr. Chris Cunnings has been working in the field of Education for more than nine years, and his experience includes both classroom teaching an educational research. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry (with a minor in biochemistry) from McKendree University in 2006, and then a second Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry Education from Governors State University in 2007. While a student at McKendree University, Dr. Cunnings was a four-year starter on the McKendree football team, earning All-Conference and All-American honors in 2004. In addition to his two undergraduate degrees, Dr. Cunnings also holds two graduate degrees, one being a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration from Olivet Nazarene University, and the other being a Doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Cunnings has eight years of experience teaching high school science and mathematics. He also has experience coaching high school football, developing and implementing strength programs for high school athletes, sponsoring his school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, and sponsoring his schools “Rube Goldberg” machine building team. Dr. Cunnings has received local, state, and national accolades as an outstanding science instructor. In 2011, he was featured as WGN-TV’s “Teacher of the Month,” and in 2013 he was awarded the Illinois Science Teacher Association/Exxon Mobil “Outstanding Teacher of Science” Award. In 2015, he was invited to Harvard University to share his action research doctoral dissertation project, which focused on implementing digital learning technologies on a 1-to-1 basis in his high school physics classroom. His research interests include STEM education, inquiry learning, digital learning technologies, school law, and the impact of extracurricular activities on student success, and he currently serves as the editor for Spectrum, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Illinois Science Teacher Association (ISTA).
Dr. Cunnings is an avid fan of college sports, and his hobbies include weightlifting, golfing, and a variety of outdoor activities.