Kindness – an interview with Katherine Walton, Leadership Teacher at Acalanes High School

Kindness – an interview with Katherine Walton, Leadership Teacher at Acalanes High School

Katherine Walton teaches high school leadership and is in her 11th year of working in education. In 2018 she was recognized as a District Teacher of the Year. This year she is working with 77 amazing individuals at Acalanes High School in Lafayette, California. The students in her high school leadership program impact all areas of campus and have various committees that work on different initiatives. The student support committee is working on the #BeKind21 campaign.

Senior Sunrise Tradition 

2018 Acalanes Teacher of the Year

Breaking Down the Walls anti-bullying campaign  

Q. What does kindness mean to you?

A. Kindness means the innate ability to go out of your way on a daily basis to impact the life of people around you. It just becomes who you are.

Q. How are you sharing 21 days of kindness?

A. We have created 11 x 17 posters with 21 challenges for the Acalanes community and they are hung on every door around campus. We have a giant poster hanging in our front quad that reads ‘Be Kind’ and students are taking pictures with it. We have lunchtime events that correlate with the kindness challenges to further encourage the youth to participate and we are actively posting on social media to engage the students.

Q. What will you do to share kindness today?

A. Today, I plan to send thank you notes to several of my students who have done outstanding work over the past 3 weeks of school as a way of validating them and their work ethic.

Q. Favorite example(s) of how others can share kindness

A. Greet one another at the door, engage in conversation rather than over the phone, pass along kindness (pay for someone else’s coffee or parking), call someone out of the blue just to say hi, acts of service (picking up trash, cleaning up teacher rooms)

Q. Today I celebrated…

A. my husband and baby by making them breakfast. My little one is a year old on Friday and we are celebrating him all week!

Q. I am grateful for…

A. The amazing Lafayette community that I get to work in. All schools are engaging in this BeKind initiative which is a testament to the incredible people that live in this city.

Q. Someone I would like to recognize for showing me kindness. 

A. Marisa Wilson. She is the parent of a student I teach and is one of the most driven, yet kindest individuals I have met. I feel lucky that I got to know her through her daughter and am in constant awe of her and what she creates. She is connected to so many in the community and spending time with her is inspiring.

Q. What I do to appreciate myself

A. Go on hikes and get my nails done :)

Q. I am so glad that I get to…

A. teach. It is a privilege to have the job that I do.

Q. What do you do when your day doesn’t go as planned?

A. I debrief with my husband or I go on a run. I commit myself to waking up the next morning with a smile and a plan for the day to go better. I try and live the day out to the fullest and focus on what I can control rather than what I can’t. 

Q. I am inspired by…

A. The folks that are change agents both in my community, nation wide and world wide.

Q. A dream I am currently focused on fulfilling is…

A. Elevating the culture at Acalanes to the next level. Continuing to create a campus where every single student feels welcomed, safe and excited to be a student here.

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