Name: Mrs. Kelli Rao
NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED-
EXCEPTIONAL NEEDS SPECIALIST
GIFTED AND TALENTED
B.A. in English- May 2003 (University of Texas at Austin)
Teaching Certification- Dec. 2004 (St. Edward's University)
M.A. in Gifted Education- Aug. 2015 (Lindenwood University)
Current: UMSL- St. Louis READING CERTIFICATION COHORT VIII
Room Number(s): 251
Subject(s): 8th grade ELA
6th grade Speech/Drama
Google voice number:
Messages are forwarded to my personal email.
2-2:45 pm M-F
A days- P.1, P.2, P.3
P.1- 8th ELA 7:10-8:25 am
P.2- 6th Speech/Drama 8:30-9:45 am
P.3- 8th ELA 9:50-11:05 am
B days- P.5, P.7, P.8
P.5- 8th ELA 7:10-8:25 am
P.7- 8th ELA 9:50-11:05 am
P.8- 8th ELA 11:10 am-11:45 pm; 12:15- 1:25 pm
Welcome. Thank you for taking time to learn about the teachers at McKinley CJLA.
This year, I teach students taking 8th grade ELA classes, and 6th grade Speech and Drama. As of December 11, 2021, I earned National Board Certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist for Gifted and Talented students. It's 30-40% pass rate on the first try, so I am thrilled to be able to say that I earned my certification without any revisions. Yes- I have wanted this for more than a decade and I screamed and jumped around quite a bit with the news. :)
Biography: Port Arthur, Texas is my hometown. I lived in Austin, TX for 9 years. I attended The University of Texas at Austin and graduated with an English major. I completed my educator's certificate requirements at St. Edwards' University in Austin. In August 2008, I moved to St. Louis, MO to live closer to my sister, and I began teaching with SLPS at Northwest Academy of Law- a choice high school in Walnut Park. At Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO, I completed my masters' degree in Gifted Education in August 2015.
In December 2021, UMSL and SLPS accepted me into their SLPS READING CERTIFICATION COHORT VIII. Reading interventions are key to addressing the achievement gap in gifted education, and I think the only way to do this is to instruct teachers. Since I believe in this mission, I fully commit myself to being a teacher/student/researcher and make the necessary sacrifices of time to achieve my goals. I hope to become a doctoral candidate for Washington University in St. Louis' Educational Policy program.
I spent 4 years teaching in Austin, TX, and I've spent 6 school years teaching high school at Northwest Academy of Law in SLPS. 2021-22 school year is my seventh year teaching ELA at McKinley, my second year teaching 8th grade ELA. I've completed 16 full school years as a full-time teacher! YESSSS.
We have a son who turned five in November. My husband is the Director of Development at The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, a federally qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to open doors to higher education through direct assistance programs for students and through active participation in many aspects of the St. Louis regional community. You might say that we were made for each other. :)