Kari Anne Calarco » About Ms. Calarco

About Ms. Calarco

Hello AXIS Explorers! Welcome to the 20-21 School Year. We are so happy to have you learning in two languages with AXIS. I am Kari Calarco, and you can call me Ms. Calarco or Ms. Kari. Along with Ms. Jenny, I am the other AXIS co-founder. At AXIS I am the Head of School. We use this title because although I do the duties of a principal, I do many other duties too. I get to lead the whole AXIS organization which includes our K-5 school and AXIS Family Programs (Preschool and Educare). Together Jenny and I do all of the duties of a local district office. We are so grateful for our AXIS families, staff, and students!

My favorite food:
Tortilla chips and guacamole
My favorite activity:
I love learning, exploring, and traveling. 
Language(s) I speak:
English, but I am learning French and Spanish, and I hope to learn some Chinese too. I think it is important to know how to say hello, please, thank you and I am sorry in all the languages you can.
Places I’ve been or want to go:
I grew up in rural Indiana, and since then I have lived in four major US cities and seven states. I have visited 44 US states! have been to Europe a few times and the South Pacific. I would love to go to more countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.
I am in education because…
I am passionate about children and language learning. I believe strongly in the mission of AXIS and in the power of excellent teachers to positively impact kids and our community.
More about my life and education...

I have been an educator or administrator for nearly two decades. I came to education by way of Teach For America, a domestic Peace Corps like program. After graduating from Indiana University I headed to teacher boot camp in the Bronx, NY, and weeks later I was teaching elementary special education in innercity Los Angeles, CA – (where everyone was bilingual!).

After finishing my teaching commitment, I was recruited to work for Teach For America where I coached teachers as a Program Director and raised $3.2 million dollars in one year as the Director of Development. Working at Teach For America taught me important skills in business and organizational management. In my grant writing, I wrote about the amazing work teachers were doing and it inspired me to return to the classroom and school site. I quickly began taking on school administrator roles, and I helped to reform schools from the inside out. I worked in both charter schools and non-charter schools. Also during this time, I completed my Master’s in Special Education, taught new teachers at the graduate level, and completed two years towards my PhD in Educational Psychology at UCLA and CSULA before my husband was transferred to Colorado. I am humbled by the opportunity to co-found and lead the AXIS organization. And one day I will finish my dissertation and doctoral work - I believe it is never too late to learn!

Some of my favorites...

Food: Plants

Movie: Star Wars

Book: Hound from the Pound

Subject: Psychology

Color: Purple = Green (tie!)

Candy: Gummies

Season: Spring

Hobby: Exploring with my boys

Animal: Our dogs Quincy and Lia