Resource teacher Walker receives promotion, leaves DPMHS


Valery Barrera

Resource teacher Jennifer Walker grabs a snack as she recovers from getting her blood drawn at a past Red Cross Blood Drive. (file photo)

Emily Flores

Resource teacher Jennifer Walker got promoted to be an assistant principal at Napa Elementary School in Northridge. Oct. 11 was her last day here at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. 

She was at DPMHS for six years. Before DPMHS, she worked at Walter Reed Middle School. She taught sixth grade math and science to gifted and highly gifted kids in a small learning community. She then decided to make a switch to special education and come to DPMHS

“At Pearl, I was hired as a resource teacher to replace the teacher, Ms. Bootel, who became the magnet coordinator,” Walker said in an email. “Our principal at that time, Ms. Smith, had a background in special education. They were great mentors and teachers to me. I was very fortunate to have them. Once Ms. Bootel and Ms. Smith left, I took on the role of special education coordinator to handle the (behind-the-scenes) managing of our special education department. Pearl has wonderful families and students and some have lots of needs. I tried to help meet those needs.” 

Walker wasn’t looking to be promoted to a different school. She was debating if she was willing to take the opportunity to be an assistant principal but she decided to take the offer since she had the middle school and high school experience. 

“After some thinking and discussion at home, I decided to make the leap,” Walker said. “Because I’d had middle school and high school experience, I thought an elementary experience would help round out my experiences. And it was the right time. Pearl has a great principal in Mr. Petrossian, who has also taught me a lot in his time here.” 

Walker’s goal is to learn throughout the time she has at Napa Elementary School. 

“That’s what I’m doing at Napa Elementary,” Walker said. “There is not a permanent principal and (there are) a lot of programs so I’m learning a lot and doing a lot of different jobs. I’m exhausted, but happy. My goal for my time here is to improve whatever I can. Whenever it’s time for me to leave, I’d like to leave it in better shape than when I arrived.”

Walker says she will miss her students and families at DPMHS. She wants all of her students to work hard and succeed, and also wants them to know that anything is possible and she is only an email away. 

“The students at Pearl are so capable,” Walker said. “Y’all are getting an excellent education. It is up to each of you to make the best use of it. I miss my students and families at Pearl, but I’m only an email away.”