Mr. Kris Chesky against a Clean White Background, with the words 1977 graduate thanks HPS teachers as he joins Johns Hopkins University

Kris Chesky has come a long way from his early days as a student at McMahon, Sullivan, and Lynch schools in Holyoke, and his 1977 graduation from Holyoke High when he was named Class Musician.

Today, he is joining Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Performing Arts Health. He will be based in both the Peabody Conservatory and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the School of Medicine. In announcing the news, the Johns Hopkins Peabody Post noted that Chesky’s appointment “will help establish a new academic department in Performing Arts and Health and marks the first Bloomberg Distinguished Professorship for the Peabody Institute since Johns Hopkins established the professorships in 2014.”

Mr. Chesky’s career as a leading researcher in performing arts health and his advocacy for health policies and safety standards for music students and performing artists was also chronicled in a feature story on the Johns Hopkins University website on Tuesday, June 13.

“When my story was released on Tuesday, I couldn't help thinking about all the teachers in Holyoke— especially Mr. Nowak—who inspired me and how much I wish I could thank them,” Mr. Chesky said, while acknowledging that his roots in Holyoke helped propel him forward throughout his later studies and professional pursuits.

“Thank you, Kris, for sharing your story with us,” said HPS Superintendent Anthony Soto. “Your remarkable career is certainly an inspiration for our students today, and it serves as a much-appreciated thank you to the teachers and staff at Holyoke who helped prepare you to pursue your dreams and your passions.”