Meet Ms. Xenia Perry | 9th Grade World History Teacher | KIPP DC College Preparatory
High school is one of the most important times in a student’s life. Students continue to mature, establish lifelong friendships, and prepare to transition to college or careers. For Xenia Perry, ninth grade world history teacher at KIPP DC College Preparatory, the ability to impact KIPPsters at this critical juncture was key in her decision to step inside the classroom.
“The memories that stick out the most about my education happened in high school. It’s a place that helps shape who you are and what you think,” she said. “It’s one of your first opportunities to say ‘Who am I? How does my education and what I’m learning influence what I want to do in my life?’”
Xenia worked in campaign management during the 2016 presidential election, as well as case management for a non-profit organization before joining KIPP DC in 2017 as a Resident in the Capital Teaching Residency. “Even during that time I always had thoughts of teaching. Actually, my whole life I thought about teaching,” she remarked.
“I previously volunteered for KIPP Atlanta and also had a sorority sister who graduated from a KIPP school, so I knew it was a reputable name. One day, I decided to apply to KIPP DC and was accepted into the Capital Teaching Residency program shortly after.”
After completing her residency year, Xenia assumed control of her own classroom and has continued to thrive and share her love of history with students. But most importantly, as she describes, is making a meaningful, personal connection with her students. “For me, I love when my students feel comfortable being themselves with me. I want them to feel comfortable with who they are and who I am. When they are having fun and taking something away from my class, that’s when I know I’ve done my job.”
Outside of her role as a ninth-grade history teacher, Xenia is also the head coach of the varsity lacrosse team. “I really enjoy it, and it’s similar to teaching. I’m excited to pass on what I know because particularly for our students I feel like it’s an untapped market so to speak. I try to get as many girls involved to either introduce them to something new, show them the potential is there for college scholarships, or to take their mind off their problems.”
As high school students grow and transition into adulthood, teachers are some of the most influential role models in their lives, a responsibility Xenia readily embraces. “I love that my students feel comfortable talking to about whatever’s on their mind, and that they trust that I’ll listen. At the end of the day, nothing beats that.”