My next feature in honor of Women’s History Month is the spectacular Katie Schmelzer. I met Katie several years ago, I had just moved to Brooklyn because both of my children were accepted into amazing charter schools. Everyday at my sons pickup, Katie would give my daughter a big hug and let her use the walkie-talkie to call my son down, that always made her day. It wasn’t long until my daughter started calling Katie her best friend, and since then has become another member of our family. Katie is not only an awesome music teacher but also a vocal arts education advocate.
Having started her career in 2009, she is an aspiring abolitionist, dedicated to ensuring justice and joy in her school community. She loves watching students flourish and find themselves through creative pursuits. Katie recently received her Masters in School Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, although she believes we need less leaders – instead, we need more builders working together in pursuit of liberation for all. She uses her voice to create awareness and bring attention to issues that effect us all.
In 2014 Katie found a small women-owned fitness studio (SYNCStudio), and quickly fell in love with indoor cycling. In 2016, her love became her side hustle, and she found herself on the instructor bike. Through that community, she found wellness, strength, and support, and in 2018 she biked from San Francisco to San Diego solo, on a single speed bike. Katie now daydreams about is to starting a cycling/wellness studio that offers free/reduced classes to community teachers, and profits directly benefit schools in the neighborhood. Self care is community care!
Katie’s classes were a huge part of my self love journey, the pride I felt getting on the bike and just tuning out the world was inspiring. Her words were so motivational, they made me believe in myself and love myself at any size. I will always have a soft spot for educators, who truly enjoy use their careers to change the world around them.