"Kathleen was a strong athlete and competitive swimmer through college. She began teaching, as a special education teacher, for Washington, D.C. public schools (DCPS) in 2004. In three years, she and her co-teacher created a special education program at Murch ES that was academically challenging and rigorous and known throughout the city. Three years ago she moved into a 1st grade classroom where she has brought the same focus, dedication and connection to her students. Several years ago Kathleen started training for marathons and triathlons| she has competed in several of both. Last year she began a "Girls on the Run" program at our elementary school. In the Fall of 2010, there were enough girls to train one team| by the Spring of 2011, she had to expand to three teams because there was so much interest among 3-5th grade girls and their parents. Here again, with both the students and her fellow coaches, Kathleen has always provided quiet, strong and compassionate leadership. For me, Kathleen is the epitome of what an elementary school teacher should be - committed, compassionate and creative. She understands well that educating children is so much more than teaching them skills| it is about educating the whole child and providing them with avenues of success, wherever those opportunities might be: in the classroom, at home or on the field."