The new principal at Irish Elementary, Lindsey Walton, is no stranger to bilingual education.
She attended Bauder and Irish as a child, then went on to Lincoln Junior High and graduated from Poudre High School in 1992.
From there, Walton headed to the University of Colorado where she earned a degree in music education. She worked as a music teacher for 12 years, working mostly in schools with high levels of poverty.
Before returning to Fort Collins, she was assistant principal and instructional coach at Monterey Community School in Mapleton. Monterey is an early exit bilingual school, meaning that only native Spanish speakers attend Spanish literacy classes at the school.
At Monterey, Walton learned how to align the curriculum for English and Spanish speakers in order to make learning equitable.
This is what she intends to bring to Irish Elementary. “I want to hone the dual language program and make sure kids are learning at the rate they should be,” she said.
When Irish opened its doors for another school year in August, Walton was most excited to see the kids return to school and begin working with the teachers. “Our school has very unique strengths and challenges that most schools do not,” she said. She looks forward to working through challenges as a team.
“It is a dream job,” Walton said.