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Kristina Woleck
2008 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photo of  Kristina Walrath, Classroom Fellow

video Kristina Walrath explains what she sees as the most important qualities that a teacher ought to have.

Bio/Overview: Walrath is Principal at East School in New Cannan, CT. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Principal for Special Education for the Shoemaker campus of the Mastery Charter School in Philadelphia, PA. Growing up, she lived in many different parts of the country and overseas. Walrath was so inspired by the knowledge she gleaned and the opportunities she had, that she decided in seventh grade to become a teacher so that she could share all about our world’s people, customs and geography with others. Although her choice of profession did not alter, Walrath’s motives for and conviction to becoming a teacher have greatly developed and deepened. She began her pursuit to become a teacher at the University of Delaware, where she was one of twenty-five participants selected to pilot an urban education program for the duration of her undergraduate studies. Instead of completing her coursework, practicum and student teaching requirements in a suburban classroom setting, Walrath did so within the educational contexts of low socioeconomic communities. Teaching within these environments broadened Walrath’s awareness of the achievement gap that exists in this country and ignited her determination to devote her energy and efforts toward providing an excellent education to all children. After graduating from college, Walrath joined Teach For America and began her teaching career at Shaw Middle School in Southwest Philadelphia.

Educational Values/Philosophy: To Walrath, teaching is not a job – it is a lifestyle. It is her passion and a great part of her identity.

Leadership Experience: After two years of teaching a sixth grade, self-contained classroom at Shaw Middle School, Walrath was offered the opportunity to design and implement her own sixth-grade learning academy that exemplified a commitment to excellence in academics and character within the school. Over the next two years, she expanded the academy model to become the operating system and standard culture of performance at Shaw. Over the past 5 years at Shaw Middle School, Walrath has seen her professional career evolve from a classroom teacher to an academy leader, curriculum coordinator, teacher/student mentor, community liaison, and new teacher coach. In addition to her career at Shaw, Walrath also works as a selector and trainer for the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows and volunteers in a number of capacities with Teach for America.

Affiliations: Teach for America, Philadelphia Teaching Fellows

Education: Walrath completed her undergraduate education at the University of Delaware. She is currently enrolled in graduate school at Cabrini College to receive her Master’s degree in education and Literacy Specialist certification.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Charter/alternative school models
  • Community Engagement
  • Special Education
  • Teacher preparation
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Last Modified: 09/08/2015