New Teacher Makes Cars and Students Shine


Photo by: Mrs. Dana Converse

Mr. Christopher Converse prepares for his first day of school, this time as an adult.

Caleb Youngwerth, Student of Journalism

Deep in the depths of the tech. wing, past the peeling walls, where the lights grow dimmer. In bright contrast to the hallway, a highly illuminated classroom contains a teacher. The room stays brighter not only because the lights stay a little stronger, but because this lone, extraordinary teacher Christopher Converse, a new teacher to this high school, is trying hard to brighten those around him.

But most don’t know why this teacher tries to get on a personal level with his students.

A younger Christopher Converse grows up in a difficult home. His parents divorced, his teachers unwilling to get to know him, he switches high schools freshman year, and suddenly, if things weren’t already bad enough, at 19:


An accident costs him his leg and nearly his life.

While recovering and trying to hold his life together, he works on cars, and after spending years working on his 1999 Pontiac Trans-Am, he makes cars his career. Several years later, Bergstrom hires him as a mechanic, a position he thought was permanent.


Summer 2021: Neenah High School approaches him. They need him to find a potential replacement for the automotive classes:

“I was asking technicians, ‘Hey, would you be interested in taking a teaching position?’ . . . The overwhelming response from the technicians was, ‘No way, I don’t want to deal with those kids.’” 

Suddenly, it hit him. If no one else would take the position, he could do it.

Since then, he’s been working hard to get his teaching certification.  “I’m not just going to be a teacher to them, I want to be someone they can look up to.” 

With that motto, Christopher Converse makes sure the end of the tech. wing shines a little brighter than the rest.