Summerlyn Thompson, Principal, holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia, along with an administration/supervision certification from Western Governors’ University. Previously the longtime principal of Johnson Elementary, she became principal of Walker in 2023.
Dr. Kathleen Gentry, Assistant Principal, holds two doctoral degrees, one from George Mason and the other from Liberty University, along with an administration/supervision certification from University of New England, and a division superintendent license. She joined the Walker staff in Fall 2023.
Brad Taylor, Assistant Principal, graduated from SUNY Cortland and earned his M.S. from the University of Virginia. He has worked at Walker since 1999, first as teacher and reading specialist, and beginning in 2009 as assistant principal.
Matthew Resnick, Dean of Students
Named in honor of Haswell Hunter Walker, head of the mathematics department at Lane High School, Walker School opened in August 1966 as one of two junior high schools in the City. (Buford School was the other.) In 1988, Walker became the City‘s only upper elementary school, housing grades 5 and 6, while Buford Middle School began serving the City’s 7th- and 8th-graders.
Walker Upper Elementary School serves children in grades 5 and 6 from across Charlottesville. Our students enjoy a balanced curriculum that maintains a focus on learning while also nurturing community and caring. We offer opportunities and resources typically unavailable to such young students. In academics, for example, our sixth-graders can take Spanish for high school credit! In fine arts, our fifth-graders are active in art, band, choir, or orchestra. We even have an award-winning jazz band! We also recognize that our students are only 10 to 12 years old, so we also value recess and hands-on activities. Our PE program offers innovative offerings such as swimming lessons, bike riding, and a partnership with the First Tee golf program. We also offer before- and after-school care and an array of clubs.
Since early attitudes about school often pave the way to higher education, Walker teachers guide students in their progress toward high school graduation and beyond, delivering support and challenges as needed by the student.