About Us

Faculty Profile
Christopher McDonald
Science Department Chair; Science Teacher
Christopher McDonald has served since 2003 as a chemistry teacher and the chair of the science department for Whitefield's Upper School. Before coming to Whitefield, Mr. McDonald started his teaching career at a small Christian school outside of Austin, Texas. In that setting, he had the opportunity to teach a broad range of science classes as well as math classes up through calculus. McDonald has a Bachelor of Science from Furman University and has completed a number of graduate level courses in biology at Georgia State University. More recently, he has spent three summers in research laboratories at Emory University and Georgia Tech.

On a professional note


Why Whitefield:
I have known a number of people who view Christian education (actually Christian schools) as a way of isolating students from various harmful influences of what they call “the real world.” They believe that these schools are established so that parents who have enough money can send their children to a safe place that provides a good education in an environment with few disciplinary interruptions. Honestly, for some schools and some parents this might not be far from the mark.

However, there is a difference between the entity called a Christian school and the philosophy of Christian education. While many books have been written on the subject, one basic definition of Christian education might be educating children with a God-centered worldview. It is not about producing young people who are nice and successful. Its goal is to help them to develop a consequential faith that calls them to make daily decisions based upon a living, active, and holy God. Students learn that there is no division between the secular and the sacred, that God wants to be involved in all aspects of our lives, and that He is the Lord of all of creation from algebra to zebras.

As a parent, I am responsible for the spiritual development of my two daughters. However, I cannot do this while they are in school and I am at work. What I need are teachers who can offer godly discipline and guidance in my absence. I need teachers who are experts in their disciplines and can point out significant spiritual themes such as redemption in ways that I cannot. Moreover, I need additional adults who will share their lives and serve as models of how to live out the Christian faith. For these reasons, I have chosen to answer God’s call to be a Christian educator and to place my daughters in the very talented hands of like-minded believers.

Why I love teaching:
Since high school, I have found that I have a knack for explaining things to other people, especially science-related topics. I really enjoy watching students transition from befuddlement to mastery. It is also a challenge to find the right words, the ideal analogy, or the perfect demonstration that will bring new concepts to life. And, of course, when teaching science there are all of the toys! Yes, there are pleasures to be had in studying a poet’s choice of words or in mapping out the sequence of events that led to a revolution. But I prefer putting my hands on something to tear it down, mix it up, make it fly or burn it up–all in the name of science, of course.


On a personal note


About my family
My wife Valorie and I are blessed to have two daughters, Samantha ('21) and Emily ('25), who also attend Whitefield Academy.

Hometown:
Athens, Georgia