Long-serving Corpus Christi School personnel include: Dorothy Lee (First Grade, 40 years), Katie Murphy (principal, 25 years), Raewyn Cummings (vice principal, 25 years), Sharon Kappelman (school psychologist, 25 years), Linda Halkias (kindergarten, 20 years).
Teacher retention helps Oakland's
Corpus Christi School stand out
There are so many aspects that help make a school like Corpus Christi stand out from the rest, not the least of which is a level of teacher retention that is unmatched these days.
Multiple teachers have been with the school for well more than 20 years, including the first grade teacher, Dorothy Lee, who is entering her 40th year at the school.
When asked to explain her longevity, she said, "I can't remember a single day I didn't love going to school as a student or a teacher!" What's more, she's even teaching second generations of children from multiple families.
Along with Lee, kindergarten teacher Linda Halkias is in her 20th year and school psychologist Sharon Kappelman is entering her 25th year at the school.
Why do so many teachers stay so long at Corpus Christi? Some point to the special community, parental support, and the leadership from the principal (who's in her 25th year at the school herself) Katie Murphy, who last year was named National Principal of the Year. Vice Principal Raewyn Cummings notes that the parents are a welcoming group of people. She should know. Before Cummings began her own 25-year tenure here, she was a parent of two boys at Corpus Christi.
These five staff members alone account for more than 135 years of experience. But what might be even more amazing than the staff retention is how well the veteran teachers blend with the new ones. And all of Corpus Christi's staff is credentialed, with five holding master's degrees and one doctoral degree.
Corpus Christi is also widely recognized for working together to make the school a loving, caring and learning environment that focuses on the high achievement of all students, which is about a lot more than academics. The entire community works hard to help develop the whole child. Its innovative enrichment opportunities include leadership, service, sports, drama, choir, language arts, technology (including an iPad mobile lab and brand new computers in the permanent lab) and art — Corpus students are given the opportunity to explore what they love and take great pride in their school.
Which all stems from the No. 1 priority of the school: fostering happy, confident, self-aware pupils. Something that must be working when you learn that more than 98 percent of Corpus Christi graduates are accepted into their first choice of high school.
back to top