She never wears the same outfit. She’s always in heels. She’s five foot with golden locks. She marches to her own birthday. She is full of spunk and pizazz. She is Kelly McKrell.
Ms. McKrell started her learning at a school that a lot of Obama students are familiar with, the now well-known Dilworth Elementary. After attending Dilworth, she then went to Frick, and then to Schenley. She just did not want to leave the Steel City, so she attended Pitt for undergraduate school. Her first year she was in a pre-med psychiatry program. In her second and third years, she switched over from pre-med to theater and in her last year of undergrad she studied education-English. After undergrad, she then attended Pitt again for her master’s degree in English education. While she was still in school, she continued to audition and perform in shows. She chose teaching out of all careers because of the impact all her previous teachers had on her. She began her teaching career at the former Schenley High School, then was transferred to Reizenstein and then again transferred to Peabody, which is now Obama. In an interview, McKrell said that her biggest motivation is her own students. Her favorite thing about teaching is when her past students come back and tell her about their success stories. She enjoys using entertainment to make learning interesting for her live audience. When asked about her least favorite thing about teaching, she responded with the unnecessary amount of paperwork she receives and has to give out. A particular tactic that McKrell uses to help her students succeed is making a personal connection with them. She’s very understanding and is always welcome to students who need a safe place to talk or be at. A piece of advice that she would give to all her students right now is, “The enemy wouldn’t be attacking you if something valuable wasn’t inside you. Thieves don’t break in to empty houses. You’ve got purpose!”
When she’s not teaching or grading papers, Ms. McKrell can be found either working out at her gym or in a director’s chair. When at home, she can be found in her ginormous garden. She loves to garden and uses it as a soothing hobby to keep her stress levels down. Some might think “McKrell? Gardening? In dirt?” but she has quite the green thumb. She also gardens and landscapes other people’s yards. She used to have a landscaping business with her cousins but now works alone. Other than gardening, she likes to relax with her two beagle retrievers, Bristol and Bailey, and her mother, who is her biggest influence. McKrell loves her dogs more than anything—well, other than her mother. One of her favorite hobbies, in fact, is to spend money on her dogs. Besides her love for the arts, she also has a more athletic side. She played tennis in high school and was really good at it, but now takes up a more vigorous sport: boxing. She said she enjoys a lot since it helps her relieve the stress in her life. Something a lot of people might not know about McKrell is that she is a younger sister to her older brother Paul.
Said McKrell, “Always be the bigger person even when you’re small,” which she is striving to do with her five-foot self.