Dr. Christopher Basich: 2021 Hall of Fame Athlete

Achieving a “personal best” is the driving force behind Dr. Christopher Basich’s life – for himself, for his students, for other teachers and for educational administrators. From his high school years at Riverside, graduating in 1999, through his collegiate days and his professional career at the Riverside Local School District, Chris has led by example in both athletic endeavors and academic preparedness.

While at Riverside, Chris played football in the eleventh and twelfth grades. He was recruited by several schools, ultimately selecting The University of Mount Union as his final choice. But in his senior year, Chris joined the track team and excelled. That year, he placed first in the shot put in the Division I state championships, with a throw of fifty-nine feet, six and three quarters inches. Chris also qualified for the state meet in the discus as well. Chris lettered in both track and football. It was at this time that Chris changed his athletic path, choosing to pursue track and field instead of football. Chris’ senior year was a special one that included more than just athletic accomplishments. Chris also met his future wife and love of his life at Riverside.

At the University of Mount Union, he continued his efforts in track and field, earning nine Division III All-American honors in shot put and discus. His best finish was a second place in the shot put at the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He also earned a fourth place at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the discus. His personal best in shot put was 56 feet, ten and three quarters inches, and his personal best in discus throw was 171 feet, two inches.

Chris graduated from Mount Union in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and minors in sociology and integrated social studies. In 2018, Chris was inducted into the Mount Union Athletic Hall of Fame, recognizing his academic and athletic excellence.

Before leaving the University of Mount Union, Chris coached the throwing events for one year before accepting a graduate assistant position with Marietta College. While pursuing his master’s degree in education at Marietta College, he continued his involvement in track and field by coaching the throwing events. Chris graduated in 2006 with his degree and applied to the Riverside Local School District.

In 2006, Chris started his teaching career at LaMuth Middle School. The very next year, he transitioned to the high school to teach in the Social Studies Department. During his time as a teacher at Riverside, Chris taught American History, Advanced Placement Psychology, and Consumer Economics. He also served as an assistant coach on the track and field team and was the head cross country coach for five years.

During this time as a coach, Chris coached many regional and state qualifiers. While at Riverside, he served as a Social Studies Department chair, instructional coach, and college and career readiness coordinator. It was during this time that he began studying for his doctoral degree at Youngstown State University, graduating with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership in 2018.

Today, in his 16th year in the Riverside Local School District, Chris is an Assistant Principal for the 10th grade at Riverside High School. He focuses on college and career readiness, curriculum, and data analysis. He also leads the Riverside Local School District Business Advisory Council.

Since 2017, Chris has been involved in teacher leadership initiatives at the state level and currently serves as an Ohio Teacher Leader Ambassador for the Ohio Department of Education. Chris is also a part-time faculty member at Youngstown State University, teaching classes in educational administration and teacher leadership. Additionally, Chris serves on dissertation committees and manages a website for students in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program.

Asked by Youngstown State University personnel why he went into teaching, Chris said, “I first started teaching because I loved seeing the light bulb go on for students when they learned something new. I continue to teach because I want to keep that light bulb glowing bright for students as they progress through their academic journey.” The Hall of Fame selection committee found that Chris’ desire for students, teachers and administrators to find their personal best reflects the priorities in his own life.

Chris currently lives with his wife Crystal and daughter Arya in Concord, Ohio. When he isn’t enjoying time with his family, he loves to run, bike, hike, play the guitar, and read.

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