Staff Spotlight: Ms. Wilkerson
Cristo Rey Richmond would not be able to educate young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose and service without our dedicated and passionate faculty & staff. In an effort to recognize our educators, we will begin a series of Faculty & Staff Spotlights!
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Little Rock, Arkansas
Q: What was your favorite subject in high school? And why?
A: My favorite subject in high school was English. I always appreciated the different texts and authors that my teachers asked me to interact with. It was through my English classes that I first learned how to analyze texts and take them apart so that I could understand the author’s message and put the ideas of various authors in conversation with each other. This skill was (and still is) absolutely essential for my theological studies.
Q: Where did you go to college? And, what did you study there?
A: I went to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. I studied both Theology and Philosophy as an undergraduate student. I am currently in graduate school and will finish my MTS (Master’s in Theological Studies) in Systematic and Philosophy Theology in the fall of 2020.
Q: What is your favorite part about working at CRR?
A: The students! I have worked at three different Catholic schools, and I have never encountered students who fight for their education the way that our students do here at CRR. I see so many of our students overcoming obstacles everyday and facing circumstances that I never had to face at their age, and yet they still show up to school and put forth their best effort. I am incredibly proud of how hard they work.
Q: What does the “Cristo Rey Way” mean to you??
A: To me, the “Cristo Rey Way” means breaking new ground and overcoming obstacles. We do this not as individuals, but as a community. Being at Cristo Rey, whether as a teacher or student, means working harder than you have ever worked before; and yet, being at Cristo Rey, whether as a teacher or a student, also means being supported as you have never been supported before. That sense of work ethic and community is the “Cristo Rey Way.”
Q: What is your favorite memory at CRR so far?
A: Not long before the school had to move online due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the students did their first Socratic seminar discussion in Religion class. In all of the class periods, I was amazed at how well the students were able to articulate their analysis of the Scripture passages that had been assigned for the discussion, and I was equally impressed by their ability to critique each other’s ideas with kindness and thoughtfulness. It was a great thing to see!
Q: Who is your biggest mentor and/or inspires you? Why? A:My advisor from my undergraduate program has consistently pushed me, both when I was a student at Saint Vincent and when I graduated. It has been 4 years since I moved on from college, and yet I still hear from my advisor frequently. I once took a class that my advisor taught on Johannine Literature, and the final paper for the class was an exegetical paper (meaning that each student had to choose a passage from the Gospel of John and then analyze each aspect of the passage, “dissect” the passage, and then figure out how the message of that one passage fit into the rest of the Gospel account). When I got my paper back, I saw that my advisor had written a note on the final page, telling me how outstanding the paper was. The last line of the note struck me: “You should do this for a living!” I still have that paper and the note, and it motivates me to keep trying even when I feel like a failure.
Q: What advice do you have for CRR students as they continue to focus on getting to and through college?
A: Keep going! I think that’s the toughest thing, honestly. You are going to face challenges and seemingly insurmountable tasks, but you can’t stop. You have to keep pushing forward, no matter what.