Up Close with Lindsey Key, Director of Teaching + Learning

Lindsey joined HRS in 2016 and has 14 years of teaching experience.

During her time at the school, she served as teacher, science department head, middle school lead teacher, Slingerland® demo class instructor and a trusted colleague and mentor. Lindsey lives and breathes the mission of HRS.

Q: Please share a little about your background and time at HRS.
A: Growing up, my brother would bring his best self to school each day, but he would leave defeated. At his current age of 37, he still struggles to read and write. He’s absolutely brilliant, but he left school feeling stupid. How different would his life be if he had been able to attend Hamlin Robinson School and been taught using a structured, multi-sensory approach to language? This is not only why I became an educator, but also why I was drawn to HRS. This past year, I finished my 14th year as an educator; I taught in Virginia, Switzerland, Texas, and now Washington from grades 6 to 12. I have a master’s in special education from Longwood University and a National Board Certification for K-12. In my time teaching, I’ve only realized the power of strong literacy instruction in my last six years at HRS. You really must see it in action to know it is possible.

Q: What compelled you to apply for the position of Director of Teaching and Learning?
A: As I think about our school and the strategic plan for program enhancement, growth, and sustainability in the coming years, I feel motivated to reach for a more impactful role in our school’s future. Our school’s mission to “ignite the academic and creative potential” of our students is not something I take lightly or for granted. I see this position as an opportunity to impact more students by impacting more teachers.

Q: What most inspires and excites you about working in this new capacity?
A: I’ve had many wonderful mentors along the way who shaped my effectiveness as an instructor and gave me the confidence to stick with it. I want to pay that forward by sharing my passion, knowledge, and experience with other teachers so that our school’s mission is sustainable.

Q: What is a challenge you look forward to tackling?
A: As our campus divides to become separate lower school and middle school buildings, one challenge will be maintaining a cohesive culture that continues to foster collaboration across grade levels, a connected community, and world-class programming. This is going to be a unique opportunity as we expand our capacity and campus size.

Q: What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?
A: Although I want to jump right in and start making impactful decisions, I know spending time being a sponge to soak up valuable information from the experts in the building and ask questions will be best for long-term success in this role. This will allow decisions around programming and on-going teacher training to be more relevant for our school and students.

Q: How do you envision this new position will support the teaching faculty?
A: I hope that, along with Kay Nelson, our Structured Literacy Specialist and Emma Lopez, our incoming Curriculum Specialist, we facilitate discussions that set clear goals, develop and implement new initiatives, and promote teaching best practices with vertically aligned curriculum standards and mechanisms. We would also like to be a resource when teachers need to strategize day to day or find meaningful resources and training that promote individualized professional growth and development.