Karen L. Krisch
Marion-Walker Elementary School
Bellefonte Area School District
Karen Krisch has served Central Pennsylvania families as a school leader for 23 years. In her service as principal of Marion-Walker Elementary School (MWES) since 2017, Krisch takes pride in her successful development of MTSS, achieved in close collaboration with the school’s administrative team and the district’s literacy coach. Krisch not only ensures that data protocols, system flows, and software solutions are in place to keep the program running but also that all educators have the skills needed for the components to work together. With extensive training in mindfulness practices, Krisch brings the same zeal for academic growth to her promotion of safety and overall wellness among MWES students. Marion-Walker has been a banner school for PBIS for several years under Krisch’s leadership, and she now helps lead the district’s SEL programming and is working closely with Pennsylvania State University researchers to assess the efficacy of MWES’s programs. Krisch brings a trauma-informed approach to her district leadership on safety and emergency protocols, which includes leading updates to family reunification plans, among other projects. In 2014, while leading another Bellefonte Area School District school with a high poverty rate, Krisch ensured low-barrier access to food to families through a program that later provided a template for the district’s rapid response efforts during the pandemic. Krisch holds an M.S. in International Education from Northcentral University, a B.S. in Elementary Education from Bloomsburg University, and a B.S in Communication Disorders from Pennsylvania State University.