Katherine Walton, Class of 2010
Wedding Venue Business Owner
“I consider Penn State York one of the best decisions of my life.”
Katherine Walton’s life has taken several different directions, but one thing seems to always come back: her experience with the English program at Penn State York.
“My experience in the English program has influenced my life in more ways than I ever expected,” she said. “I am shaped by aspects of the program and its professors as a whole.”
Walton graduated in 2010 with a bachelor of arts degree in English alongside her husband Adam, who also graduated that year with the same degree. After graduation, Walton worked at a newspaper company before she realized that she wanted to go back to school to teach. She began her Secondary English certification at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, while teaching full-time. When it came time to start her Level II Certification, she found herself back at Penn State York to acquire the master of education in Teaching and Curriculum degree in 2017.
“The connections I formed with my professors made a huge impact on my decision to become a teacher, as well as the style of teaching that I brought into my own classroom,” Walton said. “I even created a unit for my students called Business Correspondence, which took a lot of inspiration from Dr. Sloboda’s Business English course.”
In 2021, after ten years of teaching high school English, she resigned to run a family business with her husband, Hazelwood Weddings, and stay home with their two-year-old son. Her English background continues to remain relevant in her wedding venue business strategies.
“A huge part of my responsibilities include writing for our social media, marketing our business, and responding to our clients,” Walton said. “Every day, I have to write captions that are engaging and informative for our Instagram posts and videos, and I have to be creative with how I repurpose our content from platform to platform. So much of the wedding world involves telling stories.”
Walton’s experience with the English program at Penn State York taught her just how valuable acquiring an English degree really is.
“This program provides literature that exposes you to diverse perspectives that help learn about other cultures, understand different viewpoints, and develop empathy for groups outside of your own,” she reflected. “Yet it also equips you with so many transferable skills; businesses want employees who are creative thinkers, analytical readers, and strong writers. Someone who thinks critically, possesses research skills, and understands diverse perspectives is a powerful force – that’s what an English degree can give you, especially one from Penn State York!”