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Staff Spotlight: 20 Questions in 60 Seconds with Chris Murray

By Megan Hoel Nov. 30, 2015

20 Questions in 60 Seconds is our blog series in which we interview Communities In Schools staff members. This week's guest is Chris Murray, Director of Standards and Accountability at the Communities In Schools National office.

1. What would you like to be your greatest accomplishment?
Making my parents proud.

2. Ten years ago, who did you think you would be now?
I thought I would be a city planner working in the Middle East on sustainable urban development. Seriously.

3. What's one thing you couldn't live without?
Grilled cheese sandwiches...and Netflix.

4. What are you listening to/reading these days?
I'm a sucker for dystopian future/alternate present stories (and zombies). Right now I am reading The Great Glass Sea by Josh Weil. Every day I listen to a little (or a lot) of soul music from the 60s and 70s. Wilson Pickett is my everything.

5. What is the one thing you cannot resist? (food/dessert/candy/etc.)
Doughnuts. If you want some for yourself, don't bring them anywhere near me.

6. What is your greatest fear?
Aside from eels and nocturnal rodents...not having what it takes to be ready for whatever comes next.

7. Where is your favorite place to be?
Martha's Vineyard. My family rents a house every year. It's my happy place. Just fun, relaxation and fresh seafood.

8. Where is the best place you've traveled to and why?
Tibet, China. The beauty of the people and culture is a stark contrast to the austerity of the landscape. It is really amazing and spiritual.

9. What does true leadership mean to you?
Building a team of rivals who can help you to approach problems with new ways of thinking and challenge you to become better.

10. What's the coolest (or most important) trend you see today?
The use of big data to identify solutions to challenges everyday people face with new technology, effective public services and education.

11. What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
On-demand everything (music, TV, groceries)! No contracts, no hidden fees, just what you want, when you want it with a lengthy, unreadable usage agreement...oh, and the internet.

12. You're hosting a dinner party. Who are the 3 people, living or dead, who you would invite and why?
Abraham Lincoln, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bob Dylan. I think the four of us would create world peace, feed the hungry, colonize Mars and have a great time doing it with an awesome soundtrack.

13. What would you serve?
I'd cater.

14. If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
A music video director.

15. What advice do you have for kids who are struggling in school?
There are people out there who not only care about you, but are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure you are safe, happy, healthy and successful. Seek them out as they may not always be in the most obvious places. No one who has ever done anything well has done it alone.

16. What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Sit quiet.

17. What are your three most overused words/phrases?
"Bro", "brah" and "dude". (These are the SFW ones).

18. How do you define success?
For me, happiness equals success. Are you happy where you are right now? If not, then it's time for something to change.

19. What is the best book you have ever read?
Really anything Kurt Vonnegut, but Sirens of Titan is my favorite. My copy is bruised and broken from over-reading.

20. What is your favorite thing about working at Communities In Schools?
That we have the courage to think critically about whether we are doing the right things to make us a great organization to work for and, more importantly, do the best we can for the students we serve and those in need.

Have more questions for Chris? Comment them below and he'll answer them.