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Kristen Burns returns to Norfolk Academy and to the third grade team, where she served in 2018-19. She has spent the past three years teaching at Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, a leading independent boys’ day school. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Penn State, where she was a Schreyer Honors College Scholar. In addition to receiving many academic honors, she was a varsity swimmer with All-Academic Big Ten Recognition. She pursued her graduate work at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, earning a masters degree in teaching and learning. She then relocated to Pennsylvania, where she taught first and fourth grades during her years in the Quaker Valley school district. She has coached swim teams, Girls on the Run and volunteered in a variety of organizations. In addition to teaching, she will coach swimming.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator: 
Quite simply, it's my passion. The incredible moment when you help children learn something new and show them the depth of their capabilities, or help them find a passion of their own - there's no other feeling like it. What an awesome and extraordinary opportunity!

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy? 
Being back! I could not have imagined a more welcoming and wonderful place than Norfolk Academy the first time around. To be here again in this special community is thrilling. 

Norfolk Academy is unique because… 
Of relationships. The honest and meaningful relationships between teachers and students, families and faculty, and colleagues with each other is unmatched. 

Last book read: 
I must be honest, this past year has been a lot of board books with my 15-month old daughter, so probably the Brown Bear, Brown Bear series. ... I also recently read Where the Crawdads Sing. I hope to see the film soon!

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working? 
Spend every waking moment with my daughter! I also love to swim, run, and eat delicious food, so any opportunity to do one or all of those things is always a great day. I travel when I can as well, especially to see family in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Los Angeles. 

Favorite food? 
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese with a glass of chocolate milk - something nostalgic about it! 

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you? 
Reese Witherspoon. She is bubbly, energetic, and happy - things I try to be on a daily basis!

Fun fact your students might find surprising: 
I was a rather accomplished tap dancer in my youth. I competed on national and world stages and made friends from all over the world through my competitions. I still tap today (thought maybe not as well). 

“When I grow up, I want to be…” 
A stand-up comedian with a Netflix special. 

Kristen Burns returns to Norfolk Academy and to the third grade team, where she served in 2018-19.

Kristen Burns returns to Norfolk Academy and to the third grade team, where she served in 2018-19.

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