The M List 2016: Kristen Scott
Culture of teamwork
Kristen Scott has a passion for teaching her students at Nuestro Mundo, a dual-language charter school in the Madison Metropolitan School District. One of the things she’s known for is instructing a student who advanced 11 reading levels during the 2014-15 school year. When asked how she did that, she says it was a team effort. “It’s me working with our reading interventionist, working with our instructional resource teacher. It’s all of us putting our heads together and figuring out what we’ve tried and what we need to do next.”
That kind of focus is common for Scott, who was Wisconsin’s bilingual teacher of the year in 2015. She credits Nuestro Mundo’s culture of teamwork for its success. And that includes the parents. Scott says she brings “parents in as much as I can, in every way I can think” of, creating trust and helping parents to believe in their children’s abilities. As part of her efforts to empower parents, she instituted a program called Parent School Partnership, which teaches Spanish-speaking parents to advocate more effectively for their students.
Scott is persistent in a no-nonsense way. “My obligation is to believe all of my students can learn,” she says, and to do what it takes to figure out how to teach each student. Before landing the job at Nuestro Mundo, she had never seen or heard of a school “where both Spanish and social justice were so greatly valued.”
Scott, who grew up in a bilingual home, was encouraged by her parents to further her education. Her grandmother, who often told Scott she had the heart of a teacher, also had an impact. Scott says to have the opportunity to speak Spanish in her workplace and teach others feels “too good to be true.”
The M List
Madison Magazine’s M List is a who’s who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its fourth year, the M List recognizes those making strides as mentors and teachers. Last year’s list of honorees were making impacts in the area of social innovation. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored “Foodtastic” entrepreneurs and innovators.