April Fulstone Leadership Profile

April Fulstone Leadership Profile

Peter Baugh

April Fulstone is an Literacy teacher at Wydown Middle School and has also been recognized for her abilities as a history teacher.  She is the sponsor of the Wydown social justice club.

How do you incorporate leadership skills in the classroom? It’s important for me to share leadership with my students, so I like to give them a lot of choice. Obviously, there are curricular restraints that I have to follow, but I’m really interested in hearing students’ points of view as well as my colleagues. I like hearing new ideas, and so I think being open to other people’s perspectives is important. I feel really strongly about social justice and kids treating each other with respect and kindness and so … I make that a big point in the classroom. I try to do that with leading professional development for faculty or just having conversations with colleagues.

Didn’t you win an award recently? It was last year. It was from the Gilder Lehrman Institute … they are basically two philanthropists who … have a collection in New York and so they have all this money–I don’t know where the money comes from–but they give an award to a history teacher K-6 and then 7-12, it’s alternating years. So, last year they gave me the Missouri History Teacher of the Year.

What exactly is your position in the literacy department? Literacy subject manager. It’s kind of like the department chair at the high school … and so at the middle school they call the person who is kind of in charge of the department the subject manager. We are the go between who communicate with Ms. Sellenriek [the English department chair] or Mr. Kucharski, who is the curriculum coordinator for K-12.

What leadership skills do you use for that job? I think, again, it has to do with listening to the concerns of the literacy teachers that I work with and being an advocate for our department, raising concerns that are important to the middle school teachers when I am talking with administrators or when I am … thinking about curriculum on a bigger level. Taking into consideration the different perspectives again and trying to be a mediator of sorts, make sure that needs are being met.