Kimberly Harris was recognized as a Distinguished Educator in the
Distinguished First Year Educator category
Kimberly Harris is a Behavior Adjustment Classroom (BAC) teacher at Olympia Elementary School.Â Although this is her first year in this position, it has turned out to be her best!
Kimberly is an incredibly hard worker. You can tell she’s striving to be the best teacher for her kids. I think Kimberly has found her niche; she really deserves this recognition”, says Jennifer Cooper, the Special Ed Contact Teacher at Olympia Elementary.
Kimberly says teaching was a natural fit for her. “Our house was always the ‘hangout house’ for my kids and their friends; I’ve always loved helping and guiding kids.” This leads directly to what Kimberly says she likes about the students in her class this year, “I look for and focus on their strengths, find what motivates them, and help them become better. I get to see beyond their behaviors and focus on who they are and who they can become.”
Dr. LeBleu, Kimberly’s principal, said, “Kim is an absolute advocate for the students under her care. There is no question that her work with her students is aimed at uncovering the very best in each of them. Her energy and positive attitude has made her very popular with her colleagues and in their wanting to collaborate with her in working with the students they share with her. She is an asset to our campus, and we are proud to have her as one of our Olympia family members!”
Kimberly was strongly influenced by her teachers in elementary school. She’s aware of how much impact a teacher can have on students - both positive and negative. She enjoys reading and listening to positive thinking books and anything that will help her grow her knowledge of her position. She explains, “If I am going to be in a powerful position in a child’s life, I always want to use the opportunity in the right way.”
But it has taken more than positive thinking this year. She had a rocky start, and even talked about resigning! She credits the support from the great team at Olympia, the help from the behavior specialists at JISD, and the professional development training from Region 20 for getting her through.
Kimberly attended Fresno State, but graduated from Sonoma State University in California. She recently obtained her teaching certifications through Region 20. She has two daughters:Â one in high school and one at NE Lakeview College, and two dogs. Until she became a teacher this year, her spare time involved reading, sewing, and scrapbooking. Now she spends much of her time in research, planning, and preparation to be the best teacher possible for her students.