By: Alerey Crocker, Contributing Writer
Kristin Walters is a new teacher at Centralia High School this school year. Walters teaches Algebra I and Algebra II. This is her first year teaching at the high school; however, she taught kindergarten in the R-VI district. “I am glad I had the experience with teaching kindergarten; however, my true love is math. When the position opened here at the high school, it is something I could not pass up. It was calling my name,” said Walters.
Before teaching at the high school, Walters taught Algebra to high school students at Mahomet-Seymour High School in Illinois after she graduated from college. Then, she decided to be a stay-at-home mom with her four children. Once her youngest child started school, Walters wanted to revisit the teaching profession. She was a substitute teacher for a year, and then a kindergarten position opened up in Centralia. The district hired Walters for the open kindergarten position, and she taught kindergarten for two years in Centralia.
Walters’ favorite part about teaching is the students. She loves being able to help the students and making sure they can do the math even though they may have doubts. Walters chose teaching as a career because she wanted to make a difference. She believes there is no better profession in order to make that happen. Walters’ high school math teacher had a big influence on her career choice.
Walters grew up on a farm in Illinois outside a small town called London Mills, a town of about 600 people. Her high school, Spoon River Valley, was a consolidation of five small towns, and she had 43 students in her graduating class. Walters went to college at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. She has an elementary education and secondary math teaching degree.
Walters’ husband is Eric, and he is also from London Mills, Illinois. Once he finished his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, they moved to Centralia, Missouri, in 2004. Her husband then accepted a job at the University of Missouri working at the National Swine Resource and Research Center. Walters wanted to live in a smaller town, and they both fell in love with Centralia. She and her husband have four children: Kody is a senior this year; Kylee is a sophomore; Kaelyn is a seventh grader; and Kayne is in fourth grade. Walters’ children are active in track, softball, basketball, choir, orchestra, Cubs Scouts, dance, FFA and 4-H. She is also one of the leaders for the Centralia 4-H Club.
Walters is really excited about teaching at CHS and is looking forward to working with the students. “I am excited about looking at my students while I am teaching and knowing that I am making a difference in their lives,” said Walters.