Q&A with Vice Principal Allison Ilgenfritz

Rachel Hines, Editorial Board

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background in education before coming to Liberty?

A: I started working in education when I was a Peace Corps volunteer from 2004 to 2006. During these two years in Bangladesh, I taught English as a second language to young women. When I came back, I became a behavior specialist at Renton Academy. Renton Academy is a school that works with kids with emotional behavior disabilities. Eventually, I came over to the Issaquah School District as an instructional specialist. At ISD, I collaborate with teachers who are working with struggling kids. Currently, I’m filling in for Ms. Armstrong and will be doing an internship under Principal Martin.


Q: How is Liberty different from other schools you have worked at?

A: Liberty is one of the steepest learning curves in my professional career. Before this, I taught kids with the most challenging behaviors in the greater Seattle area from grades 3 to 5. This is very different from the Liberty students I’ve come across who are older and highly motivated to learn. However, I’m having an absolute blast.


Q: Can you tell me a favorite memory from your jobs in education?

A: My most impactful time was when I was a teacher at Renton Academy. I would watch students come into my classroom, disenfranchised from the traditional education process. They would go from really struggling as a learner to successfully graduating. Watching that progression was such a rewarding experience.


Q: What is your best advice for Liberty students during this pandemic?

A: My best advice is to practice how to be super organized. Beyond high school, being a self-starter and figuring out how to manage the different parts of your day is incredibly important. Creating strong boundaries is crucial. Simply put, learn how to be organized, learn how to set boundaries, and learn how to take care of yourself.


Q: How have you spent your time during quarantine?

A: Besides working a lot, I have two active little boys at home. My oldest is seven and my youngest is three, and they keep me and my husband very busy. Lately, trying to keep them off screens has been my number one priority. I also do CrossFit five times a week. Lifting heavy weights is one of my other loves.