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lessons within our history help us improve THE future


“There is no greater satisfaction than finding new lessons within our history that help us better understand our world as we strive to improve its future.”

Christ School’s History Department seeks to globalize the overall curriculum to include a core of non-Western cultures and nations, along with traditional studies of US History, American Government, and classical Western studies. This approach was honed to include a specific class of Twentieth Century World History for sophomores, preceded by a freshman class of World History focused on the “non-Western” empires, but through the lens of our Western background. Eighth grade curriculum is titled Humanities and provides a foundation of study in civics, ethics, and current events that students refer to throughout their high school years. Four offerings in AP History are intended to be the apex of our curriculum and are available to students who show the appropriate aptitude and have performed well in regular and honors level classes.

Electives that focus on modern History and current Social Studies compliment the curriculum for the third and fourth forms. The evolution of the elective offerings reflects student interest, faculty initiative, and specializations that often use History as a basis for discussion on very relevant issues. Current examples of these electives are Economics, Ethics in International Relations, Rhetoric, Comparative Government and Economies, and Introduction to Entrepreneurship.

Faculty are encouraged to routinely review our curriculum guide to insure that we are teaching the material and skills that we aim to teach. Beyond relevant content, good, scholarly research and citation techniques are some of the most important skills we can foster in our students. That demands that we assign challenging projects and that we are diligent in using academically cited material ourselves as a model to our students.

The Christ School faculty teach History because they love the subject matter and they seek to communicate their passion to their students every day. There is no greater satisfaction than finding new lessons within our history that help us better understand our world as we strive to improve its future.

News from the History Department

Meet the Faculty

William Ballenger comes to Christ School with a wealth of experience as a teacher, AP exam reader, coach, and houseparent.  

He will be a part of the History Department, Head of House in Young House, coach basketball, and guide backpackers in the Outdoor Program.    

Mr. Ballenger launched his boarding school career at Blue Ridge School (Va.) in the late 1990s where he crossed paths with longtime Christ School faculty member Jamie Auch.  

He and his wife, Kristin, most recently lived five transformative years overseas in Jordan, where he chaired a department and shepherded aspiring, young teachers as Director of Teaching Fellows at King’s Academy.  

Mr. Ballenger’s favorite fictional character is Indiana Jones and he has lived out his own share of adventures, including thru-hikes of the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Camino de Santiago trails, as well as two complete coast-to-coast bicycle treks. He is a believer in the educational value of travel, bringing history alive for students by integrating his personal, globetrotting experiences at historic sites in over 50 countries across five continents. Mr. Ballenger has been recognized several times with teaching and leadership accolades.  

Mr. Ballenger is a boarding school alumnus (The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey) who graduated with honors in History from Alma College, later going on to get his master’s degree in Social Studies Education from the University of Virginia. 

Mr. Ballenger and Kristin are both major animal lovers and thrilled to live in Young House.  

Steve Chester attended high school in the mountains of western North Carolina and can draw upon more than a decade of teaching experience with his History students. He specializes in American, classical, and modern European history.

Mr. Chester previously worked at schools in Georgia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. He was most recently Assistant Middle School Director at Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Ga. In his career, Mr. Chester has coached six different sports as well as assisted or directed a wide variety of camps and clubs.

Mr. Chester graduated from Avery County High School before going on to receive his B.A. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and his master's from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Mark Crawford returned home to western North Carolina from active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division in the 1990s, starting a long career in education. He became an AP U.S. Government and Politics instructor at Christ School in 2019. 

Mr. Crawford taught various Political Science courses for the 11 years at Western Carolina University, and prior to that was a full-time substitute teacher in the Buncombe County Schools system for 13 academic years. He is a West Point graduate who served for a little over a decade as an officer in the U.S. Army. Mr. Crawford was a Ranger, paratrooper, and Jumpmaster who was deployed for the Gulf War in 1990. Upon returning home, he initially worked in construction, and then real estate while substitute teaching. He has served a brief stint in the N.C. House of Representatives and been Administrator of the Swannanoa Valley Medical Center. 

Mr. Crawford likes to keep it simple when it comes to his hobbies: reading and chess. 

Olga Mahoney P'20 takes immense pride in teaching Greenies to give back as Christ School's Director of Service Learning.

Mrs. Mahoney coordinates community service opportunities for the boys in the Asheville area and enjoys working alongside them. She was Christ School's Teacher of the Year for the 2017-18 school year and is an instructor in AP World History, Ethics, and Public Speaking.

Mrs. Mahoney earned both her bachelors degree in Russian Language and a master's in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University. Furthermore, she also holds a master's degree in Education from Harvard University. For 11 years, Mrs. Mahoney served in several teaching and administrative roles at Milton Academy in Milton, Mass. Before that, she worked as an intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and as a research assistant for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Mrs. Mahoney and her husband, Kevin, have two children, Michael '20 and Alexandra. 

Watch the Faculty Spotlight on Olga Mahoney


James Uhler has been a consummate faculty leader, taking on about every role imaginable since first coming to Christ School in 2002.

He will share his wealth of knowledge as the new Associate Dean of Academics. 

Mr. Uhler has twice been named the school Teacher of the Year (2004 and 2017) and given invaluable education and encouragement to the youngest Greenies as our Eighth Grade Coordinator. He has also been a History instructor.

Mr. Uhler won the P.H. Broyhill Teacher Award in 2013. He was twice selected to the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers list (1998 and 2005). Mr. Uhler has served as a Consultant and Reader for the College Board for the AP U.S. History Exam in the past, chaired the History Department, coached Greenie baseball and swimming, been a house parent in the dorms, and headed up the summer work crew.

Mr. Uhler earned a B.A. degree in History from Xavier University as a University Scholar in 1996. He went on to receive a master’s degree in History from Ohio University five years later. Mr. Uhler and his wife, Becky, have two children, Stella and Colin.

Watch Mr. Uhler discuss 8th grade education at Christ School.