I was fortunate to be a part of West Virginia University (WVU) Student Teaching pilot program in Ohio County in 1992. I also began my coaching career at Wheeling Park High School and my love of Ohio County Schools; I have been in Ohio County Schools since.
When I began my career in education, I was fortunate to have influential people who believed in me and encouraged me to continue my career path in a direction to lead others. When I was in my formative years of teaching, I had a principal say to me, “What is your next move, Kim?” I said, “I am going to be a coach and a second grade teacher.” This principal encouraged me to pursue administration, because he believed I could lead others to do great things for our students. I continued in the classroom but furthered my education and pursued a path to serve all students in our school district.
I have spent my entire career in Ohio County Schools as a teacher, coach, central office staff, principal, and superintendent. I began my career at Madison Elementary School in kindergarten, then Elm Grove Elementary School as a second grade teacher. While teaching, I earned my master’s degree in Elementary Education and Administration and was eventually named the Elementary Curriculum Coordinator and Student Services Director. I then became the Principal of Woodsdale Elementary School, which was named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, and finally worked my way to become the Superintendent of Ohio County Schools.
I chose to be an educator because I wanted to help children be their best. I wanted to have a positive impact on the lives of others. As an educator, I have had the opportunity to encourage children to be their best version of themselves. I’ve always wanted to be more than the person who only taught academics. I’ve strived to build confidence in every child I taught. I have grown as an educator and have consistently led by this idea, from the classroom to the school district.
My favorite aspect of being an educator is creating new and innovative ways to spark a child’s growth: intellectually, social/emotionally and their physical well-being. I have prided myself on my ability to inspire teacher growth and to encourage teachers to be the best version of themselves through innovative spaces and professional development personally designed to meet their needs in the classroom.
There are many things West Virginia public education does extremely well. The Universal Pre-K program is among the best in the country. The focus of Career and College Readiness has been very beneficial. Our students have many opportunities to learn skills needed to advance in whatever direction they choose post-secondary.
I have been married to my husband David for 27 years. We have three children: Kayley (Stanford Grad), Kamryn (Cosmetology School), and Karringtyn (middle school). My children benefited greatly from their West Virginia public school experience with very different paths. I am a proud WVU graduate and former WVU cheerleader. I also coached Wheeling Park High School cheerleaders for 10 years and continue to be their number one fan as I continue to be a part of many of my former cheerleaders’ lives. I love to travel, especially to the beach!
Being selected as a Milken Educator taught me to believe in myself and surround myself with positive people who will push me to be the best I can be. I am proud to be part of this amazing group of educators. I will forever remember the day I received this prestigious award. I was on maternity leave, and my principal asked that I come in to learn about a grant opportunity. The kids were so excited, and the mind-blowing presentation began…I will be forever grateful for this recognition.