Alumni Watch: John Walker

John Walker works as an educator of civil engineering


Image/Graphics by Unknown

John Walker protests with colleagues in a Los Angeles teacher strike in 2019, wearing vibrant yellow pants.

John Walker has been selected as the Warrior Watch’s Alumni Watch for the month of October. John attended West Branch High School, graduating in 2011 and is currently employed as a high school engineering teacher. 

After high school graduation, John pursued a career in civil engineering where he received his undergraduate’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in 2015. Following his college graduation, John worked as a civil engineer in several east coast locations, ranging from West Virginia to Washington DC for around a year and half. 

Even though John enjoyed the field of civil engineering, his sophomore year of college at Pitt, he felt drawn to education; however he finished his engineering degree. Consequently, a little over a year after his college graduation, John returned back to college at the University of California, Los Angeles to study and major in education. He graduated from UCLA in 2018 and explored his employment opportunities that capitalized on both of his degrees, thus becoming an educator of civil engineering. 

John said he felt himself being pulled into education because of the impact that it had on his life. He said, “ My life is completely different from the life I lived growing up, and different from the life my parents still live today, and education is what made that possible for me.  I would have ended up in a very different place if it were not for the relationships I built with teachers who helped me focus on what came after West Branch.” 

Currently, John works at Southern School of Energy and Sustainability in Durham, North Carolina.  His employment here is fairly new as he worked at a high school in Los Angeles for the three years prior. Although he loves watching high school students be their authentic selves, John is unsure if he truly loves teaching. He said, “  I often attribute it to the fact that I hate school, but love education. To me, they are distinctly different which is why I don’t know if I actually enjoy the career of teaching.”

For the future, John wants to take his experience as a teacher, as well as a civil engineer and leave the classroom. He wants to explore his employment options and possibly even work on a broader educational scale. He does know for certain that he wants to pursue his Education Doctorate. 

What West Branch graduate should be featured in the next Alumni Watch? Email if you have any suggestions!