There are two stories that I love to share about The Walker School that I believe capture much of who we are and what we believe. The first is about the boundless opportunities that exist for students at Walker. It goes like this:
We have purposely maintained an intimately scaled environment at Walker, because it gives a clear alternative for families who want their children to be known, involved, and inspired. It is not unusual, for example, for students involved in theater, band or orchestra to also be involved on an athletic team. There have been many band concerts in which student- athletes arrive straight from a game dressed in a baseball uniform.
My favorite example of this was when McClain McKinney (pictured), was playing football at the same time he was starring in the fall musical, Little Women. The football coach and theater director both worked out a mutually beneficial schedule for McClain. On the Friday night that the play was in production and the football team was also playing, the play was moved from an 8pm to 6:30pm start. McClain arrived at the football game versus archrival Mt. Paran at halftime and played the entire second half, helping Walker secure a key win during a region championship season. After the game, I remember walking up to McClain on the field to congratulate him and realizing, when he took his helmet off, that he still had his stage makeup on – only at Walker!
Don’t take my word for it; watch the video below to listen to McClain discuss his diverse Walker experience in his own words:
The second story speaks to the reason why faculty are drawn to teach at Walker, a school where teachers are revered and can teach in an environment where learning is the chief priority of the school. I often share this story with families who are weighing their public or private school options:
Several years ago, I was interviewing a prospective faculty member who taught history at a local public school. When I asked her to describe her teaching load, she said she had six classes with 35 students in each class – a total teaching load of 215 students. I was flabbergasted! When I asked her what type of assessments she gave her students, she acknowledged that she could only give multiple choice assessments that could be graded through a machine via Scantron. As a history teacher, she said one of the main reasons she wanted to teach in a smaller environment like Walker was that she wanted get to know her students better and to teach critical thinking and writing skills to prepare them for life beyond high school. This teacher is beginning her fourth year at Walker, where she has five classes with an average class size of 15 students, and is now also a proud Walker parent!
Perhaps you have a favorite story you would like to share about your experience at The Walker School. I encourage you to put it down in writing and share it with me! I would love to read it and share with prospective families.