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Kathryn Lantuh

Kathryn Lantuh headhsot

Affiliation: Alumna
Program: MS, Educational Policy
Previous Education: Bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in music, University of Rochester

In a newly created position as physical education and physical activity specialist for the state-level education agency in Washington, D.C., Kathryn Lantuh is responsible for promoting the health and wellness of some 80,000 students in more than 200 public and public charter schools.

“I’m still learning right now,” says Lantuh, who started working at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in November 2013. “I’m in the research phase, figuring out what schools are already doing, interviewing students, and talking with districts around the country."

After graduating from the University of Rochester with a major in psychology and a minor in music, Lantuh earned a master’s degree in educational policy from Warner in 2013. She says the support she received at Warner to explore her passions, even though they were outside traditional studies, wound up preparing her for the work she’s doing today.

“The professors there really encouraged me to research topics that interested me,” she explains, “so I concentrated on physical activity and sports, from Title IX and other legislation around equity, to finance and after-school programming. It didn’t seem like work because I was so interested in what I was learning.

“I certainly didn’t think it would lead to a career promoting physical activity and healthy habits.”

As luck would have it, Lantuh found out about her current position after a 6 a.m. workout at the gym, when she struck up a conversation with a woman who, like her, had just found out the locker room showers were out of hot water. The woman happened to be the director of wellness and nutrition at OSSE. They kept in touch after that, and less then two months later, after several formal interviews, Lantuh had a new job.

A big part of her role includes monitoring and ensuring compliance with the Healthy Schools Act, a landmark law passed by the D.C. Council to tackle childhood obesity and hunger. Coincidentally, during her last semester at Warner, Lantuh wrote a paper on the Healthy Schools Act.

Once on the University of Rochester women’s rowing team and now a high school rowing coach, Lantuh is highly aware of the connection between physical activity and student achievement. Her charge is to help schools find creative ways to identify, accept, and strengthen that connection.

“My current position at OSSE is a dream come true,” she says, “and it would not have become a reality without Warner.”