Dr. Walton, who mixed math with storytelling, will not return next year


BP Photo by Niema Fax

FAREWELL: Dr. William Walton, who is math department chair, has taught at Shalhevet since 2017.

By Joshua Gamson, Staff Writer

Dr. William Walton, known by his students for his kindness and for making his classes fun with interesting stories, will not be returning to Shalhevet this fall.

Dr. Walton began at Shalhevet in 2017-18 and served as Math Department Chair and Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

This past year, he taught Foundational Algebra, Algebra 1, Pre-Calculus Honors, and Calculus AB.

Junior Isabella Sztuden, who had Dr. Walton as a teacher in Pre-Calculus Honors this year and also in middle school at Gindi Maimonides Academy, described his bringing in metaphors and real-world examples to teach topics.

“I’ve never really seen any other math teacher teach about math history and the lives of the mathematicians who discovered the formulas that we’re learning about,” Isabella said. 

“A couple of weeks ago Dr. Walton was introducing our class to calculus, and then he was telling us about the quote unquote rivalry between Newton and Leibniz, the two people that are attributed to discovering calculus. Like, math isn’t really a story-telling subject but he was able to transform it into one.”

You can tell he loves what he does, and because of that you can see how kind he is and how excited he is even when someone asks a question.

— Ethan Fialkov, junior

She also said he cares about students.

“If I ever missed a class, usually I’d reach out first and schedule a meeting to catch up, but Dr. Walton actually reached out to me first to ask if I had any questions about the lesson I missed,” she said. “That shows like how much he really cares about the students and their success.”

Sophomore Daniel Kunin, who had Dr. Walton for Algebra 1 last year, said he’d miss his energy.

“He always was willing to teach something again if someone didn’t understand anything, [and] understood if we had a lot of work,” said Daniel. “He would try to work with us when to plan tests where we even had the option of take home tests over break just for there to be a little bit more flexibility… He’s very honest and he’s very understanding.”

Junior Ethan Fialkov, who had Dr. Walton both in middle school at Gindi Maimonides Academy and this year in Pre-Calculus Honors, said he would be missed.

“You can tell he loves what he does, and because of that you can see how kind he is and how excited he is even when someone asks a question,” Ethan said. “He’s happy to hear questions. He loves to answer them and he answers them kindly, which really motivates you to ask more and fully learn the subject.”

Dr. Walton declined to be interviewed by the Boiling Point at this time, except to say in an email, “I have enjoyed working with the Shalhevet students and families over the years.”