A Day in the Life: Leading Academics at KIPP Empower Academy

A Day in the Life: Leading Academics at KIPP Empower Academy

“It makes my heart happy knowing that the work that I am doing has a positive influence on so many lives,” said Ms. Walker, Dean at KIPP Empower Academy.  

From being a former teacher to an instructional leader in planning, coordinating and administering school programs to having conversations on culturally relevant teaching practices, plus conducting conferences and more, Ms. Walker radiates a true passion for teaching and learning. In fact, she has been described as an “exemplary leader who always leads with love. Ms. Walker has high expectations for herself, for her students, and for her team,” noted Ms. Mendez, KEA teacher. “She pushes us all to become better educators, and does it always with grace and joy no matter what.” 

In agreement is a young KIPPster: “How do I describe Mrs. Walker?” he thought. “She is loveable. She is encouraging. And she is always ready to help,” he stressed.

Her ability to form positive and meaningful relationships with students extends beyond the classroom… [Ms. Walker] understands the importance of focusing on the whole child and is always receptive to trying interventions that focus not only on academic well-being of the student but on the socio-emotional well-being of the child as well,” added Ms. Silva, KEA Counselor.  

“I am pleased to announce that KIPP Empower Academy’s KIPPStar Teacher of the Year award1 goes to Ms. Walker,” proudly said Chinedu Udeh, KEA School Leader. “These words and so much more embody who [she] is:  

Love is an action not simply a feeling! Nothing works unless you do.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. A bird sings because it has a song!...

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Ms. Walker's “Day in the Life” showing excellence as a leader, coach, and friend who supports all those around her at KIPP Empower Academy, a tuition-free, college-preparatory charter public elementary school in South Los Angeles.


As a School Dean, my day is filled with duties, meetings, one-on-ones, and observations. So, at the beginning of my day, I complete items on my task list, including reviewing my emails as well as my Google calendar to gain insight as to all the things that I have to tackle throughout the day. I make sure to project plan and prepare for upcoming meetings.


One of the most impactful and rewarding parts of my job is coaching and developing teachers which includes doing observations, giving feedback, and completing my one-on-one meetings to check-in on goals, remove blockers, and align on progress and next steps. 


Another part of my day is spent working with students. It is at these pivotal moments that I get a chance to build relationships with our students and impart into them ways to resolve conflict, repair harm, and heal relationships.

1:00 - 2:00PM — LUNCH TIME

During this time, I am able to take a moment from my busy day to stop and nourish my body and calm my mind and my spirit.


At my dismissal post, I am at our garden gate releasing our "walker" students. I enjoy this part of my day because I get to laugh, joke, and have fun with our parents.


Time to relax. One of my favorite parts of the day is getting home and spending time with my dog, Buddy!

Fun Fact: The beach is my absolute favorite place to go to for solitude and peace. The sound of the waves brings me complete bliss and a sense of calmness!

“As we have safely returned to in-person learning, one way that I am sparking joy in my school community is through our weekly Positive Office Referral (POR) parties. The kids absolutely love it,” shared Ms. Walker. “Every day, our students have an opportunity to earn a positive office referral by showing one of our school values: love, community, heritage, purpose, or resilience. Then on Fridays, we party! The students who have received a POR get a chance to dance to some good music and receive a prize from the POR cart.”

“I am proud of the fact that I am constantly receiving messages from past and present families expressing their thanks for the work that I am doing or have done with their students. I continue taking courageous steps every day towards transformative change, and challenging the status quo in pursuit of meaningful impact,” stated Ms. Walker. 

Ms. Walker is the soul of KEA,” said Ms. Hefferman, KEA teacher. 

Overall, she is a woman of great honor, sacrifice and fortitude. Ms. Walker shows love to everyone and helps KIPPsters through patience, specific learning objectives, diligence and consistency in routines, professional parent interactions, and by applying the KEA values in her day-today work. “She truly exemplifies a powerful woman in the community and in the world.”

Interested in joining our Team and Family? We are seeking talented individuals committed to ensuring education is for liberation.

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1. Each year, we celebrate and honor our inspiring KIPP SoCal Team & Family at the Karsh Family KIPPStar Awards, named in honor of champion supporters and education advocates Martha & Bruce Karsh. In alignment with our mission, KIPP SoCal awards Teacher and Team Member of the Year to individuals who embody the values that ground us as an organization: Lead with Love; Equity. Excellence; Strength in the Collective; Courage and Integrity; Learn and Grow.