Name: Keri Montesino Stewart
Position: Unconditional Education Coach at Grant Elementary in Richmond
I began my educational career as a kindergarten teacher and I truly enjoyed being in the classroom. However, I wanted to expand my reach beyond one classroom and pursued my graduate degree in school psychology. Most of my doctoral research focused on building positive classrooms and schools as well as supporting schools through professional development. When I saw the opening for Unconditional Education Coach, I knew it was a perfect match. I am so excited about the potential to help transform a school’s culture and about using all the knowledge and skills I gained as a school psychologist for systems change.
I was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, which is a Caribbean island off the north-east coast of Venezuela. I completed my undergraduate degree and first years in education in the Caribbean, and lived in Florida for the past five years. Oakland is my new home, so any recommendations for new and interesting places to explore will be welcomed. :)
What does your average day look like?
I usually wake up, get dressed, and head off to Grant. I spend most of the morning responding to emails and checking in with staff. My daily activities revolve around creating and improving existing school systems as well as coordinating behavioral and mental health services for students. I look forward to days when I conduct social skills groups with students and facilitate school teams meetings. Part of my day is spent collaborating and problem solving with staff on how to support our challenging students. Also, I try to find time at the end of the day to prepare professional development to school staff and prepare activities for my social skills groups. In the evenings I try to have a little down time with my husband watching tv, cooking or eating out, and going to the movies. I really enjoy good food, the theatre and exploring my new home city.
Why do you do this work?
I really have a passion for influencing and changing education systems and it is truly rewarding working alongside school administrators and staff to create more positive environments for students, families and staff. My heart is warmed when students are excited to be at school, when families feel as part of the school community and when teachers report success with a new strategy or activity.
What hope do you have for the future of All-In?
I hope we continue to expand our work to more schools and districts so that more students have an opportunity to feel connected to their schools, as well as motivated, and invested in their education.