Silver Chips Online

Galloway, Kerri

By David Jia, Online Blair Connections Editor
June 12, 2007
Name: Kerri Galloway
Department: Foreign Language
Year Started: 2004
Classes Taught: Spanish I, Spanish IV
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Latin American Studies, Masters Degree in Hispanic Linguistics
Previous Jobs: Spanish teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, Spanish textbook editor for Glencoe McGraw-Hill
Hobbies: sports, traveling

She didn't start learning Spanish until eighth grade and she doesn't have a degree in education. Nevertheless, Kerri Galloway finds herself in Room 156 pointing out the objectives on the overhead to 19 Spanish I students.

For the last two years, Galloway has taught Spanish I and Honors Spanish III at Blair. But as she rocks back and forth in her blue swivel chair in her office in the Foreign Language Department, she recalls a time of not knowing what to do with her life. In her sophomore year at Rutgers University, Galloway went on a study abroad program to Kenya to study wildlife, biology and management. Although she majored in Latin American Studies, Galloway never intended to teach Spanish.

But about 12 years ago, D.C. schools were short on teachers, and Galloway was "given temporary certification" to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School. She took teaching classes at Trinity University shortly after she got her job at Blair but never received a teaching degree.

After jumping around between teaching at Woodrow Wilson, getting her masters degree and working as a Spanish textbook editor, Galloway finally found herself at Blair. She enjoys the "motivated students" with "many different personalities" here, though she is disappointed that students don't have "more choices in different languages." (Woodrow Wilson offered German, Chinese, Russian, Italian, French and Spanish.)

One of the most memorable moments at Blair, Galloway recalls, was when she played a song for an Honors Spanish III class. The students "all started singing it without me, without the CD." But Galloway likes to cherish simple events, such as the day of an oral exam, when the students are tested in an impromptu manner. Galloway "[finds] those days satisfying."

Spanish, however, is not all Galloway knows how to teach. While at Woodrow Wilson, she coached basketball for one season and girls' soccer for four seasons. "I've been a soccer fanatic my entire life," she says.

Galloway also actively participated in softball, tennis, basketball and biking until two years ago, when she stretched a tendon in her knee and had to undergo surgery. She hopes to be able to play sports in the future.

Galloway's affinity for the outdoors also extends to traveling, which she started doing as an undergraduate. Her travels, for vacation and college abroad programs, include the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Spain and France.

She has also visited Mexico many times, including last year and the year before that. Galloway plans on going there this year too, and, though she hadn't taken many vacations before teaching at Blair, she hopes to "make it a yearly ritual" to travel somewhere every summer.

She doesn't plan on staying a teacher forever, but right now, her plan is to continue teaching. Having flipped many pages in her life, she said, "I don't know what the next chapter is."

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7605