Mrs. Albrecht is proud to mention she was first an ice skating teacher and Zamboni driver before she became a teacher. She adds, "I got my undergrad degree from CSU-Pueblo in K-12 music education, and I have two Master's Degrees from Adam State College, one in elementary education and the other in Curriculum and Instruction."
Mrs. Albrecht taught elementary music for 15 years, then went entered the regular classroom primarily teaching 5th grade (3 years in Pueblo, and 19 years at McKinley then Cañon Exploratory School). She also taught Middle School English and Social Studies and is proud to add, "I've directed church choirs and bell choirs and have sung professionally with my husband Todd."
Kelly says the hardest thing about being a principal, besides the long hours of work, is knowing all of the stories of the families and staff that are dealing with tragedy, loss, and difficult times. "I'm a fixer and I just want to make it all OK for people, but this isn't possible." "I do my best to be there for them and support them, but it's a challenge to not take their sorrow, hardships, and frustration home with me each night."
Still, Mrs. Albrecht finds many rewards in leading a school. "I love getting to make a positive difference for kids, families, and teachers." "It's wonderful to know that something I've taught or provided support for is helping someone become the best version of themselves." "I loved teaching, but being a principal, although I never thought I wanted to do this until someone suggested I might be good at it, has turned out to be my dream job." "It's the hardest work I've ever done, but I love it!"
Mrs. Albrecht offers this advice to those considering taking the school leadership plunge. "If you don't already have a lot of experience in the trenches, do as much observing, auditing, and shadowing as you can so you get a clear picture of what teachers are doing on a daily basis and the many other roles there are in schools." "Get involved on committees and take advantage of other leadership opportunities so you can better understand the big picture of a school system." She adds, "most importantly, make sure you are getting in it for the right reasons!" "Go with a servant's heart, a love for kids, and the willingness to put your own needs aside to be there for your staff, your families, and your students."