Key School Staff
A Dedicated Team of Professionals
From researching physics in a nuclear laboratory, teaching English in Malaysia, developing a math dictionary, working in children's publishing, reporting on television, being foster parents, to running the Boston marathon in record time, our faculty brings a variety of valuable experiences and insights to Key School.
With a commitment to professional development, our highly trained teachers use a unified, intentional, cohesive approach. Dedicated and caring, Key's teachers are committed to helping children become successful students.
Every teacher at Key School is Orton-Gillingham-trained. Each language teacher has completed a rigorous, supervised clinical teaching experience to ensure a high level of compentancy with multisensory structured language instructional principles. Math teachers are trained in the multisensory math principles and approach. Both language and math teachers use a five-step Orton-Gillingham-based lesson plan which includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic teaching and ample review and reinforcement in a teaching-for-mastery environment.
Key School provides its own teacher training to all faculty, under the supervision of a Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE). Key uses the curriculum standards of AOGPE and is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Teachers are in the mindset of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. Two-thirds of the faculty have passed a national certifying examination and are credentialed at the Certified Academic Language Practitioner level or the Certified Academic Language Therapist level.
Chrissie Fekete teaches Grade 6 in the Key School. She is a Certified Academic Language Practitioner under the Academic Language Therapy Association, and has also completed the basic and advanced levels (Associate and Certified Levels) of Orton-Gillingham coursework and two years of supervised practicum teaching. She started working as a Substitute Teacher at CDS in 2013, and in 2014 got to know many CDS families by working in the After School program. Most recently, she taught in the Lower School Study Support program and the Key/Lower School Dually Enrolled program. She received her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Georgia in 2011.
Get to know Chrissie Fekete:
What do you like most about your job at CDS? “I love being surrounded by supportive colleagues who are lifelong learners with a huge variety of interests, skill sets, and backgrounds. The administration has always provided me with a tremendous amount of support and tailored guidance so that I, in turn, can provide my students with the same level of customized challenge and scaffolding. What I like most about my job, though, is that the CDS community doesn’t just talk about doing what is best for students, it takes concrete steps to actually do what is best for students. I find it empowering to be a part of a community like that.”
How would you describe your classroom? “I want my classroom to project a sense of calm and quiet; an uncluttered space filled with plants and pleasant lighting lends itself to small group lessons. I limit wall decorations to meaningful, curriculum-based visuals and student work that celebrates student thinking, not just polished finished work. One way students can feel a sense of ownership in my classroom is by bringing in pictures of family trips and proud moments to display.”
What books and authors inspire you, your curriculum, and your classroom? “Mindset by Carol Dweck was an influential book for me both in my own professional growth and in the approach I take with my students. The idea of failing forward by acknowledging challenges and seeing them as opportunities for growth is a concept that I think is critical for kids to learn.”
What is your favorite quote about education, mentorship, children, and/or learning?
“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” — Roald Dahl, Matilda
How would you describe yourself and/or your approach to your job in 10 words or less? “Here for my students on good, bad, and in-between days.”
What personal passion brings balance to your life? “I’m a self-taught amateur seamstress. I love the experience of making a garment, starting with a flat piece of material and shaping it into a three-dimensional form through precise cutting, pressing, and stitching. It’s a somewhat magical process.”