June 19, 2024

Education For Live

Masters Of Education

Influencer of the Week: Christina Clark of Dillard Street Elementary School | West Orange Times & Observer

3 min read

Christina Clark has served Dillard Street Elementary for 16 years as a kindergarten and third-grade teacher. For the past three years, she has supported ESE students and the Multi-Tiered System of Supports process on campus by helping coordinate and implement strong interventions for the school’s most vulnerable students. She consistently develops partnerships with community businesses who provide supports to DSES. She also is the Partners In Education coordinator. She was Teacher of the Year in 2018-19.


What brought you to your school?

 My previous school was downsizing due to remodeling and moving campuses during the remodel. Since I was a first-year teacher, my position was cut. The assistant principal there suggested Dillard since it was close by and they had some positions available.


What do you love most about your school?

 I love the students and staff! Dillard feels like a big family.


What is your motivation?

My motivation has always been to make a difference. Seeing the students succeed after working so hard is truly rewarding.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

 I love to run, go to theme parks, travel and spend time with my family.


Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

I had several teachers (who) really made an impact on me. Margaret Wright was my fourth-grade teacher at Ridgewood Park Elementary, and I remember her being so caring. She took an interest in our lives and made us each feel important. One of my middle school teachers, Fred Dana, was always very encouraging and made learning interesting.   


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

Depending on what age you asked me, it was either a news reporter or a teacher. I was always interested in what was going on and thought it would be so cool to travel around the world to report on different events. I also loved to learn and thought it would be fun to be able teach others.  


What is your favorite children’s book and why?

My favorite children’s book is “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak. I love the lessons you can learn from it, and I found Max’s wild imagination relatable.    


What are your hobbies? 

I love to run, especially at Disney. I’ve completed two marathons, along with several other race distances. I also love just going to Disney or Universal to ride the rides, eat and see the shows. When I have time, I love to read.   


If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I love “Star Wars,” so I would want to have Force abilities. You are not limited to just one power.


If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

This is really a hard question because I have a very eclectic taste in music. One of my selections would definitely be Queen, though. They have so many great songs; I have a bunch of them on my running playlist, and they keep me pumped up. Narrowing down the other two is more difficult. I would really have to give that some more thought.        


What is your favorite holiday and why?

I like any reason to celebrate or dress up, so I love all holidays. Christmas is my favorite, though. I love the movies, the songs, the decorations and the spirit of giving that this season inspires.


Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?

I have several that I’m still touch with.


What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?

I was homeschooled for high school, so none. In college, I regularly made the Dean’s List.

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