Laura Walsh, Ed’ 11, GEd ‘16
“St. John’s University’s teaching programs definitely equip students with the content and practical skills needed to contribute to positive change and become successful teachers.”
Ms. Walsh started her academic career at St. John’s University in the fall of 2007. She ran cross-country and track and was attracted to St. John’s for both its academic reputation as well as its athletic program. “St. John’s University opened up a world of opportunities,” she said.
During her freshman and sophomore years, she traveled the US as a member of the women’s cross-country team. She also had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad through the University’s Discover the World program and lived in Rome, Italy; Paris, France; and Dublin, Ireland for five weeks each while taking undergraduate courses. During the summer, Ms. Walsh worked at After School All Stars, a summer camp program held on the Queens campus. The program focused on decreasing literacy loss over the summer for students from low-income housing developments throughout New York City. It was through this experience that Ms. Walsh solidified her passion for working in the field of education, specifically for an agency that focuses on social justice.
In the spring of 2011, Ms. Walsh graduated from St. John’s University with a B.S. in Childhood Education and a New York State teacher’s license for general education 1–6. She started working in a nontraditional classroom setting, and became a program director for Grand St. Settlement, a nonprofit organization with a focus on expanding opportunities for low-income students in the Lower East Side, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
While working at Grand St. Settlement, she enrolled in a dual master’s program in Literacy and Special Education B-6 at St. John’s. “The professors at SJU clearly demonstrated a strong understanding of current practice in the New York City public school system,” she said.
Ms. Walsh began as Program Manager with Reading Rescue, a literacy intervention program currently in 63 schools across the city, in November of 2015. Through her work, she has seen the importance of qualified literacy instructors in education. “St. John’s University’s teaching programs definitely equip students with the content and practical skills needed to contribute to positive change and become successful teachers,” she said.