New Principal Profile Q&A: Dr. Catherine Mallanda, Walton High School

Question: Why are you excited about being the new principal of Walton High School?
Answer: “I’ve been a student, a teacher, an administrator, and now, I’m lucky to be the principal at Walton. This is a community that I obviously know pretty well. I’ve spent half my life there. I think the fact that I’ve done all four roles at Walton is pretty unique. It is a caring community. They pull together and help each other. They want excellence. They strive for excellence. They are very supportive of what we have done over the years.”

Question: When you are not at Walton High School, where do you like to spend your time?
Answer: “In between church and the gym, [I] may be spending some time with my nieces and nephews.”

Question: Why did you want to be an educator?
Answer: “I always tutored all my friends in math. Math is what I loved and what I was good at. When I went to Georgia Tech and studied engineering, I said to myself, ‘I like math. I don’t really like engineering. Math is what I love.’ So, I decided to become a math teacher. I was very lucky to have a wonderful principal, Mr. Ralph Williams, at McEachern as my first principal. He really showed me what a school should be, the community support you should have, and that it is about the kids, making the kids a priority and giving them all the opportunities.”

Question: Why did you want to be a principal?
Answer: “I’ve had amazing mentors that have really showed me how you can have such an influence and create a family at a school.”

Question: What does Walton High School’s future look like under your leadership?
Answer: “I want to continue all the traditions that Walton has and yet look to the future. As a charter school, we are allowed a lot of flexibility to do that. I think one of the things we have always done is innovate, and I want to continue that tradition to make sure we are an innovative school and are looking to the future of what our students are going to need.”