Kelly Fox Violette | Spanish
From: Seattle, WA
Pomona Days: Class of 2001 | Spanish
- Spanish Teacher and College Counselor at an Independent School
Previous Employment & Graduate School:
- Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies from University of Washington
- Adventure Guide, Acampa Nature Adventures, Puerto Rico
- Life Skills & Experiential Learning Specialist, YMCA of Greater Seattle
- Middle School Violence Prevention Coordinator, JustServe AmeriCorps, Seattle, WA
When I graduated from Pomona, I spent a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer facilitating programs like peer mediation and peer mentoring at an urban middle school. Following that I worked at the YMCA of Greater Seattle in a program serving young adults transitioning out of foster care. During those years, I was passionately pursuing my love of climbing, backpacking and mountaineering outside of work and got excited to start melding my professional and personal interests by working in outdoor education. I pursued a lot of training in this field, including challenge course facilitation, wilderness risk management, and various rock climbing-specific guide trainings. After a couple of years at the YMCA, I received grant funding to initiate an outdoor education component to the post-foster care program I was working for, and I also volunteered and did some paid work for a small nonprofit taking girls into the wilderness on rock climbing and hiking adventures. I started becoming curious about bringing my experiential approach into a traditional classroom setting, and I began exploring the possibility of teaching Spanish at the middle- or high-school level. That led to a year spent in Puerto Rico followed by two years of graduate school at the University of Washington. When I got out in 2009 I was hired by a school in the suburbs east of Seattle, and that's where I've worked ever since. I now have a split assignment at my school, teaching Upper School Spanish half time and doing college counseling as the other half. I love it.
Outside of work, my current passions are trail running, lake swimming, and any other outdoor activity that gets me above tree line; reading; travel; and spending time with my husband, our young daughter, and our family and friends.
My advice to students: Be comfortable with a winding path. It's okay if you don't know what to do with your whole life. Try to jump on opportunities that arise - for work, travel, relationships - and those life adventures will get you somewhere good.