SAN ANTONIO — From basketball coach to teaching at an at-risk campus, Mrs. Kari Wallace has been a reassuring voice for many kids struggling to find their way through life.
If it wasn’t for her dedication, some kids would probably not make it through high school. Wallace is our KENS 5 EXCEL Winner for Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD. She was presented with the award which included a $1,000 check from Partners Credit Human.
17-year-old Christian Vukson struggled with school before he transferred to Allison Steele Learning Center.
“Honestly, I'm not one to really enjoy school as much.”
He was quiet and kept to himself until he stepped into Kari Wallace’s class at Allison Steele Enhanced Learning Center.
“I've gotten him out of his shell a little bit,” added Wallace.
Christian says Wallace is one of the reasons he now enjoys coming to school.
“You can relate to her, and she is very open and like last friday, I brought up the game Pictionary. We played it and it was fun.”
Wallace is a game changer for kids like Christian and Genesis Fernandez.
“She's helped me a lot like no other teacher has,” Fernandez said.
Wallace’s 20 plus years coaching basketball was exactly what they needed at this campus for At-Risk kids.
“You don't want my coaching side to come out,” said a chuckling Wallace, “Oh boy, I can get that going.”
Wallace says she sets the bar high, not afraid to push her students to bring out the best in them.
“Coming over from the coaching standpoint to working it out with at risk kids was always something I always want to do.”
You can call her a Jill-of-all-trades. She teaches eight different electives and juggles a variety of trades including consumer science, entrepreneurship, finances, and computer classes. She also leads the school campus blood drives.
“You know, for our tight little campus, we get a lot of donations. “
Along the way, her students learn important lessons “To allow the students to have a second chance that maybe life threw them a little bit of a curveball. And if it weren't for the campus like this, they wouldn't be able to graduate high school. “
Christian and Genesis are just months away from graduating and they say, they’re a lot more prepared.
“Having a teacher that makes you want to do better. It's such a big difference,” Christian said.
An incredible reward if you ask Wallace.
“When you get here, you see kids with real life struggles at a young age, and it's so nice to help them accomplish their goals and you know it’s all about them. “