Volunteers help communities grow, learn and thrive. You likely cross roads with a volunteer at least once if not several times a day no matter where you are in the world. During the Kiwanis Club March 4 meeting we met volunteer and mayor Chris Watts. Mayor Watts has led the City of Denton since his election in 2014. He addressed Ranchers’ concerns and questions regarding the building and expansion of fire stations, construction of I-35, maintenance and expansion of local roadways, investment in the Convention Center, municipal ownership of an electrical company, consideration of a renewable power plant and rehabilitation of parks and recreational facilities.
But Mayor Watts is more than just an elected official. He is a home-grown “Dentonite” and devotes his life and service locally because he “loves this city!” Born in Arkansas, Chris has called Denton home since age 1. He attended Newton Razor Elementary School, Strickland Junior High School and Denton High School. Helping his family with living expenses and to pay for college expenses, he worked at the Sonic Drive-in and McDonald’s on University Drive during high school and college.
Chris graduated from North Texas State University (now UNT) with a degree in computer science and minor in business economics. After graduation he worked as a computer programmer and analyst in Carrollton. He left the high-tech industry and began investing in real estate.
Some years later Chris completed his Master of Education degree in counseling and student services at the University of North Texas. He had long wanted to attend law school but was unable to do so due to economic constraints. Eventually he was able to attend law school at Texas Wesleyan University (now Texas A&M University School of Law). After graduation Chris served as a volunteer coach for student negotiation teams and now is an adjunct professor at his alma mater.
Chris’ roots don’t just stop at being a Denton resident and student. He has served his community in countless volunteer endeavors. He served as a volunteer and on the board of directors for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) advocating for children from broken homes; elected to Denton city council in 2007, 2009 and 2011 chairing various council committees; elected mayor in 2014; represented Denton on the Texas Municipal Power Agency; served as a board member for Health Services of North Texas; volunteered as a committee member for United Way Bank On Denton; and is an active member of the Denton Luncheon Kiwanis Club.
Volunteers are critical partners and participants in societies throughout the world by actively giving their time through formal or ad hoc organizations or taking part in “informal volunteering” by participating in community activities. Through his involvement, dedication and commitment to his community, Chris has made an enormous impact on the health and well-being of Denton, making a difference to day-to-day life.
Looking for your volunteer passion? Then join the Kiwanis Club RR on the first and third Fridays of each month at 8:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse. For more information contact Barbara Leurig at email@example.com.