My Turn: Curious Chris ‘edu-tains’ locals

For 15 years, Chris Harrell taught elementary students in Portales and Clovis, reinforcing lessons with clever original songs performed on guitar, harmonica and jug band instruments.

When he retired in May from Bella Vista Arts Academy in Clovis, Chris happily closed his grade book and waved farewell to “all the hoopla that goes along with a public school environment,” but he was not ready to give up the joy of teaching.

Within a matter of weeks, he was on his way to re-inventing himself as “Curious Chris, the Singing Scientist,” a character he describes as “a strange mix of the enthusiastic science activities of ‘Bill Nye, the Science Guy’ and the innocent wonderings of Curious George,” punctuated with original science songs he continues to write.

Betty Williamson

Betty Williamson

Locals can get a peek into Curious Chris’ world at 6 p.m. today at the Portales Public Library, where he’ll be leading a free family night program open to all ages on “Symbols of Enchantment: The Music and Science of New Mexico State Symbols.”

Chris calls himself an “edu-tainer,” and he’s hoping Curious Chris will find audiences in libraries and schools throughout the region.

Curious to know more? You may call him at 575-749-1249 or send an email to

 Curiously, Betty Williamson frequently finds herself singing Chris Harrell’s songs. You may reach her at

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