Tony J. Walker, PhD, LPC-S
Vice President of Education Strategy and Innovation, Meadows Institute
With more than eighteen years of experience at the intersection of education and mental health, Dr. Walker’s career has given him opportunities to work in a variety of education-based roles including as a high school teacher, school counselor, licensed therapist, administrator, and most recently as a senior school system leader.
Prior to joining the Meadows Institute, Tony served as the Senior Director of Student Support Services for Uplift Education, a high performing charter school network dedicated to providing excellent educational opportunities to more than 23,000 students in North Texas. Founding this work at Uplift in 2011, he established and supervised five large departments servicing 44 schools, including Counseling Services, Social Emotional Learning, Student Discipline and Restorative Practices, Prevention Programs, and Strategic Community Partnerships. Under his leadership over the past decade, Uplift developed and implemented one of the largest school-based mental health systems in Texas, allowing students and families direct access to licensed mental health clinicians in every school, robust SEL and psychoeducational learning experiences, in-house family therapy services, and a full array of other wraparound programs and supports.
Dr. Walker’s division at Uplift boasted Gallup Employee Engagement levels in the top national percentile, and he quickly developed a passion for training other executive leaders on practical strategies to create and sustain emotionally healthy work environments and managing others through a lens of emotional intelligence.
Before Uplift, Tony worked for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (NCADA) designing anti-bullying and substance use prevention programs that were adopted in school districts across the Midwest. He is also an alumnus of the Teach for America corps, where he served proudly in his hometown at St. Louis Public Schools.
Tony is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified School Counselor, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Missouri, a Master’s degree in Counseling, and Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas Tech University. His research interests include wellness programming, school-based mental health program development, and mental health crisis response.