Katrina Callsen is a parent and former teacher who knows the importance of public education. Both of her parents dropped out of high school and they instilled in her the value of hard work, service, and the importance of a quality education in order to create a better future. That mindset pushed her to graduate from Yale, serve with Teach for America, and graduate from UVA Law with a focus on child advocacy. She is ready to give back to her community by working tirelessly to ensure that all children have a chance to succeed in both school and life.
I am the mother to two wonderful boys, a former middle school math teacher, an alumnus of UVA Law, Yale, and Teach for America, and a proud member of the Albemarle community. My husband and I have started and raised our family in the Rio District and are excited to see our sons enter into the Albemarle County Public School system. I care about children and believe in the power of public education and the importance of providing a quality education for all members of our community.
I grew up in a military family and graduated high school from an overseas Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS). I studied political science at Yale University, attended the Boston University School of Education, and then came back to my home state to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Law.
I was an inaugural member of the Teach for America Boston Corps. I was fortunate to be included in a group of individuals dedicated to educational equality and committed to being on the frontline of educational innovation. In addition to earning my middle school math/science teaching license, I engaged in extensive teaching and educational leadership training and had the privilege of teaching seventh grade math at a KIPP school in Massachusetts. I helped lead my students to significant academic and personal growth over the course of each year and developed relationships with them that continue today.
I care about children and I am passionate about making sure they are successful. This is something I am invested in both personally and professionally. I have represented children as part of the UVA Law Child Advocacy Clinic, I was an intern at the Child Protection Unit in Montana, and I was a Court Appointed Special Advocate. After graduating law school I got a job as a math teacher at Buford Middle school although ultimately I decided to step back from work in order to focus on my growing family. I have always enjoyed volunteering in my community and have currently been having a ton of fun getting my boys involved with me as part of the organization Kids Give Back.
Educational opportunity is personal for me. My parents both dropped out of high school as teenagers and I witnessed first-hand the limitations they and our family faced as a result. I spent all of my childhood receiving free or reduced lunch. School was a place of possibility where I could work towards reaching my potential. I watched the grit my parents displayed as they climbed their way onto firmer financial footing later in life through their own educational goals (my mom is now a truly inspirational teacher and mentor to me) and it further instilled in me the value of education to our community as a whole. Educational opportunity is a game changer that lifts up the whole community.
My own two boys are starting school soon and I think it is crucial that they have an advocate representing them who will push for the best in educational opportunity, who understands the needs of our community, who will be a strong supporter of initiatives that benefit all of our students, who has the unique experience of participating in the educational field both as a teacher and as a legal advocate, and who knows first hand how education can positively shape the path of our students.