An Interview with Christina Vert Compass Charter Schools Certificated Employee of the Year

By September 15, 2021 Blog

Christina Vert, Options Coordinator, makes an impact on everyone that she meets. She is passionate about Compass Charter Schools and serving families. Christina goes above and beyond in her position at Compass, including chairing the marketing committee and serving as an Assessment Teacher on Special Assignment (ToSA). 

Christina has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from California State University San Bernardino. In addition, she completed a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, focusing on Early Childhood Education from Concordia University. Vert has worked for Teach For America Corps in Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and taught middle school in the classroom, all the way down to transitional kindergarten.

I spoke with Christina to learn more about her story and her reaction to the honor of being named Certificated Employee of the Year!  

How does it feel to be chosen as Certificated Employee of the year?

It feels amazing to be chosen as Certificated Employee of the year. It was especially meaningful because I know the recognition came from peers and those that mean the most to me. It felt great to know that I made a difference in someone’s day at one point or another. I love making people feel valued, and being chosen made me feel like I accomplished that mission. 

Give us a history of your experience here at Compass?

I started with Compass in October of 2019. I started as a Supervising Teacher and moved into a ToSA role in January of 2021. I made the move to Options Coordinator at the start of this school year. 

Why did you chose teaching and now the position of Options Coordinator?

I have a passion for kids and education! I never had an official moment when I said, “I want to be a teacher.” But, I always KNEW I wanted to be a teacher and work with children. I remember being in the second grade and walking around to see all of the classrooms decorated for our school’s open house. I vividly remember thinking about how my classroom would be decorated one day and what the children would be learning. It is something I have always wanted and loved. It is my true passion and calling. I decided to step into the Options Coordinator position because I love helping, supporting, and serving those around me. I felt this position would help me grow in my abilities to lead those around me, and it would allow me to share my joy for education. I am passionate about strengthening each member of my team to serve our scholars in the best way possible. 

What do you love most about Compass?

I love the people! I love my team, my colleagues, and most importantly, I love the families here at Compass. I have learned so much from working with the scholars and learning coaches here at Compass. We truly have the best people, and I am honored to be working with everyone. 

What do you hope to accomplish at Compass?

My vision is that all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education one day. My mission is to make this come to life here at Compass. I want every scholar to have access to a high-quality education. I love personalized learning because I feel like I get to truly make sure this happens for each scholar. 

What is your favorite personal story at Compass?

I was able to connect with a struggling family over Facebook one day. Their son would come home from school in tears every single day, and they immediately knew that a classroom was not a good fit for him. I connected with this family, and they hesitantly decided to start both their children with Compass, which turned out to be the most significant decision they ever made! I was able to support their children starting from kindergarten and second grade. They were absolutely THRIVING and working well above grade level in all subjects. Their learning coach and parent shared, “I have the best team of supporting teachers and experts guiding us and helping us to meet the unique academic needs of our children. As a Mom with an autistic child, it is refreshing to have an entire team dedicated to my child’s best interests. Not only do they support his needs, but they do it with dedication and care. Our children are receiving the Compass gold standard of excellence in education, and we couldn’t be happier! Teaching our children from home allows us the flexibility to spend more family time together doing the things we love. We take lots of movement breaks and spend as much time outside together as possible, allowing our children time to be just that, children. Wild and free. Thank you, Compass, for all that you provide for our family! We are forever grateful.” I love that I was able to help support this family and build lifelong relationships. 

What is the proudest moment of your career thus far? 

My proudest moment was winning Teacher of the Year, my first year teaching in Weslaco, TX. I am a 2012 Teach For America Corps member. I was placed in the Rio Grande Valley, TX, for a two-year commitment. While teaching in the Rio Grande Valley, I was faced with many steep challenges. “For every 100 students entering a public school classroom in South Texas today, only 12 will receive a college degree within six years of graduation. As early as third grade, students in South Texas are performing behind their peers across the state, and this disparity persists into college for those students who are able to further their education.” (Teach For America, 2020) I was able to work with children who could see themselves in me. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I was also Mexican-American. I still work with and guide some of the students I worked with almost ten years ago!

What are your future goals?

I want to join Leadership for Educational Equity, open my own school, and eventually finish my Doctor of Education.

What do you do for fun?

I love spending time with my family! I also love making cups! I used to have an Etsy shop for “sparkly drinkware.” 

Thank you for sharing your story Christina, we appreciate you and your meaningful contributions to Compass Charter Schools!

Follow Christina on Twitter! 

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