About Walker School
Bridging the Gap Between Elementary and Middle School
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 incredible array of clubs including the acclaimed Peace Squad, Stage Left Theater, tennis lessons, and more.
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. An active Quest program engages and challenges young minds.
At Walker School, we bridge the gap between elementary school and middle school. To learn more, click here for a brochure about our school.
History of Walker
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.
Principal Dr. Adam Hastings earned his B.A. in English at NC State, his M.A. at UNC Chapel Hill, and his Ed.D. at U.Va. Previously, Dr. Hastings was employed by Piedmont Virginia Community College, where he served as Dean of Business, Mathematics, and Technology. He has an extensive background at Charlottesville City Schools: he has served on the School Board, he was director of CATEC, and he was assistant principal at CHS. Working in other area school divisions, he began his career teaching English and has experiences at the elementary, middle, and high school-level.
Assistant Principal Mark “Muggsie” Marini has worked in education for the past twenty one years. He earned his Masters from James Madison University, and, after a brief stint living in Oregon, decided to return to Virginia to raise his family. He is passionate about supporting all students where they are and helping them to achieve their dreams. Currently working with Walker fifth graders, he brings a wide range of skills including a strong understanding of Restorative Practices and is trained as a Mediator.
Assistant Principal Brad Taylor 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.
Assistant Principal Tamara Mines earned her B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia, Master of Teaching and Administration and Supervision Certification from Virginia Commonwealth University. Tamara has spent the last 18 years working in public education building positive relationships to ensure student success. She taught history, served as an assistant principal and Coordinator of Student Conduct for Henrico County Public Schools. She also served as an assistant principal at Charlottesville High School for three years. Prior to returning to Charlottesville City Schools, she worked in the Richmond Public Schools System. Tamara is passionate about working to provide equitable opportunities for all students through engaging and inclusive practices.