Influencer of the Week: Cherith Walton, The First Academy

Cherith Walton teaches fourth grade at The First Academy.

  • By
  • | 1:15 p.m. May 6, 2020
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
  • West Orange Times & Observer
  • News
  • Share

As a fourth-grade teacher at The First Academy, Cherish Walton not only is working hard to teach all 60 of TFA’s fourth-graders remotely, but also she is teaching and parenting her own children. School staff nominated Walton because she loves helping students learn, is always trying new things and is a champion of the role technology can play in student engagement.  


What do you love most about your school?

I love that my school focuses on developing Christian leaders through academic excellence and building Christ-centered relationships. I have all three of my children attending TFA, and the teachers have been such a blessing to my family. So I know that while I’m serving my students and families, my colleagues are pouring that same love into my children’s lives. The people at TFA have quickly become my extended family. 

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I work with the best children. The children at TFA are exceptional. They have such kind and generous hearts. So many of them will leave me encouraging and kind little notes throughout the day. It’s really sweet. 

What made you want to take on this job?

The intrinsic reward I receive when I’m able to work with children and help them learn something new is priceless. As a teacher, I really feel like it isn’t a “job” but just a way of life.  

What motivates you and pushes you to do your best?

Seeing the children’s academic and social growth motivates me. Every child learns so differently, so as a math teacher, it pushes me to think differently and come up with different strategies to help children. Unfortunately, many children will already come to fourth grade thinking they aren’t good at math. So it’s always my desire to help them understand how to have a “math mindset” and help shift their thinking and become more confident in their math abilities. 

What’s the nicest thing a student or faculty member has done for you?

Being a part of the TFA community has blessed me in so many ways. Families have volunteered to babysit my children so I could have a date night with my husband. Colleagues have stepped in to help me with my children when I got sick or when I was moving. So many of my colleagues have been such a blessing to me by helping and loving on my children; I am forever grateful.

What is the coolest place you have visited and why?

One of the coolest trips I’ve taken was to study abroad while receiving my master’s degree in educational leadership. I was in London for two weeks and had the opportunity to visit schools and meet with their leadership teams.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would probably like the ability to clone myself. Being a wife, mom and full-time teacher, it gets pretty busy and hectic, and I definitely would welcome the extra help! 

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

I would say that I’ve always admired and looked up to my mom. She is a mother to five children and is now a retired teacher. She is a prayer warrior and always my source of inspiration.