Kathy Olmsted

Kathy Olmsted


As a Resource Teacher for the Gifted (RTG), it is my role to advocate for the needs of the gifted learner. I work with all students in kindergarten through fifth grade, teaching lessons that utilize Critical and Creative Thinking strategies. My focus is to model lessons for the classroom teacher in differentiated instruction strategies, creative thinking strategies, critical thinking strategies, creative problem-solving, product development, and research skills. I assist the teacher in talent development and in elevating the level of instruction. My role is multi-dimensional as I work with all stakeholders at Discovery. I collaborate with teams throughout our school and county to provide Gifted Services for our Discovery Explorers.

Professional Background

I hold two Master’s Degrees from Marymount University; one in Education and one in Administration and Supervision. I am an experienced teacher and have taught many grades including kindergarten, first grade, 5th grade, and sixth grade along with teaching science as a specialist and serving as a technology expert for a school district. My vast experience has prepared me to teach and assist the gifted learner. This is my fifth year at Discovery. I taught on the fifth grade team both reading and writing as well as an interim Assistant Principal for half a year. I am currently working on completing my endorsement in Gifted Education from the University of Virginia.

Personal Interests

My favorite time of year is the summertime because I get to visit with all of my family, who live far and near, at the beach. We love gathering and celebrating all the events that have occurred during the past year. My other interests are reading and learning new things. My newest adventure in learning has been meditation. I am learning the importance of calming both mind and body. During the winter months, you will find me knitting and cooking. I love to try new recipes with my family. A fun fact about me is that I am a graduate of Arlington County Public Schools. I attended Jamestown Elementary, Williamsburg Middle School and graduated from Yorktown High School. My mother still lives in my childhood home, which is right around the corner from Discovery.

Literary Connection

My literary connection is with The Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O’Dell. It is a historical fiction story about a young Indian girl who is left behind on an island for 18 years. She taught herself how to make tools and weapons, and how to hunt. Karana befriends the animals around her and learns how to find happiness in being alone. She is a survivor and that is what I like about her story. Karana took what her tribe taught her and built on the information to become courageous and self-reliant. My hope is that you will find her story as empowering as I did.