Rock Star Teacher at Calhoun Community College

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- It’s a resume that you don’t see every day in Huntsville and from an educator.

He played drums with Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and the insanely popular brief band Gnarls Barkley.

But now he’s in north Alabama teaching a variety of music technology and business classes at Calhoun Community College. His office is the massive and super-cool arts center in Decatur across the street from the Princess Theatre.

A long rehab on a blown-out shoulder put him on the road to Calhoun.

Throughout his life, Chris Vrenna worked with at-risk kids and often spoke at, and participated in, educational programs.

After a few years in Wisconsin, Vrenna saw an ad for the Calhoun job. He interviewed and liked what he saw.

His students love him.

Gustavo Arreola says “he talks about all the mistakes he’s made so we don’t make them again or we don’t ever make them.”

Hayden Miller says Vrenna is a natural in the classroom adding “I think he’s really good at getting his point across. He’s expressive. I like how he speaks but he doesn’t get off the topic.”

Vrenna says his approach is about more than just music.

“You still have your science, your math, your English, please I beg them, those they may not be the most fun, but you have to have those if you can't write a cover letter. I'm 51 I have a Grammy. I still have to have a resume to get this job.”

Vrenna also knows something about time management most of us don’t.

In addition to his teaching schedule, he also writes music for video games and is working on books.

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