School Leader Spotlight - Buckeye Community Hope Foundation

School Leader Spotlight

Walter Thompson

Walter Thompson, and his leadership team at Imagine Akron Academy, were recognized for their character development efforts from the last school year with a Measures of Excellence award. This award is given out to the top performing Imagine schools in each measure:

●    Shared Values of Integrity, Justice, and Fun

●    Parent Choice and Satisfaction

●    Academic Growth

●    Character Development

●    Economic Sustainability

●    School Development

“As a member of the Imagine Schools family, schools share a common culture based on these Measures of Excellence,” said Thompson. “The measures of excellence award means a lot to me. Without my team, this would not have been possible. My team put in a lot of work over the 22-23 school year, and I’m grateful and excited that we received this award to show that our hard work pays off.”

With 17 years of experience in the education sector, Mr. Thompson completed his undergraduate studies at Urbana University and his master’s at Walsh University.

“I began my career as an instructional aide and later taught 1st and 3rd-grade students. Along the way, I also served as a dean of students before transitioning to my current role as a school leader, where I’ll soon begin my fifth year,” said Thompson.

Who or what inspired you to have a career in education?

“My grandmother was a great inspiration in my life; she worked as an educator in the school system, and I saw how she sacrificed her life to help others. Every conversation you would have with her was a teachable moment, whether it was school related or about life in general.”

How has working at a charter school shaped your career? 

“My career has been greatly influenced by my experience working in charter schools. The freedom and flexibility of these institutions have enabled me to follow my passion for helping children grow, not just academically, but also as individuals.”

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

“Building connections with my students’ parents, staff, and the community, while also providing assistance to those who require it.”

What are your primary goals for your school in the next 3 years? How are you working towards meeting them now? 

“At our school, our primary goal is to build a solid foundation for our students to develop their reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary skills. We will utilize guided reading instruction, phonics and phonemic awareness daily to increase our students’ skills. The tools and resources we are using are Into Reading by HMH, Heggerty, IXL, and Mylexia. Through these effective strategies, we expect to see the growth in our students.”

Mr. Thompson and his team have seen much success the past year, and have received numerous Imagine awards:

2023 Imagine Schools Top Performer in Math Academic Growth Award

2023 Imagine Schools Top Performer in Reading Academic Growth Award 

2023 Imagine Schools Character Development School of the Year 

2023 Imagine Schools ELA Academic Achievement Award 

2023 Imagine Schools Math Academic Achievement Award

2023 Imagine Schools Shared Values Achievement Award 

“I am most proud of our Character Development award,” said Thompson. “With the implementation of our Social Emotional Learning course during the 22-23 school year, it has proven to be more than a success. For the second year in a row, we have had no Kindergarten office referrals or suspensions. Each student participates in the class once a week through whole-group instruction. We have seen great strides being made this year after launching our Social Emotional Learning course. To be able to educate on an often-neglected area of child development has proven to be beneficial for our students, staff, and families.

Outside of school, Mr. Thompson is a father of three children and enjoys spending quality time with them and his wife. He is actively involved in his church as a youth leader and musician.

“I find fulfillment in working with the youth group, guiding them, and mentoring them to become outstanding leaders in our community,” said Thompson.

We commend Mr. Thompson on his wonderful achievements at Imagine Akron. To other school leaders, Mr. Thompson’s advice is:

“To lead with passion and a commitment to constant improvement. Even small progress made each day can have a positive impact on the community we serve.”

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