When students are searching for an adult at school they can relate to, they don’t often head to the principal’s office.

That’s not true at Montalvin Manor Elementary School in Richmond, where Latina principal Katherine Acosta-Verprauskus is an immigrant who learned English as a second language, much like many of her students.

The passionate principal is a product of Teach For America, the national organization that recruits college graduates and people in career transitions and trains and supports them to teach in low-income communities. While Teach For America teachers make an initial two-year commitment to the classroom, the majority pursue careers in education long-term, according to program officials.

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