FOSTER — One person can make a difference. That was the theme of the annual Boone County Schools “Teacher and Service Personnel of the Year” awards ceremony last week at the Boone Career and Technical Center in Foster.
Susan L. Kimbler, a 4th grade teacher at Brookview Elementary School with 29 years teaching experience, was named “Teacher of the Year” for the 2012-2013 school year.
Kimbler said she always strives to mentor others and to “pay it forward.”
“When I started teaching, Jewell Peal and Anna Keffer were two very inspirational ladies in my life,” Kimbler said.
Kimbler also thanked her parents.
“My father was a coal miner and they really struggled to put me through college,” she said. “I really appreciate what they did for me. I became the first member of my family to graduate from college. They also supported me with their words and their actions.”
She said what made her determined to be a good teacher was her two sons, Justin and Aaron, which both were in attendance at the ceremony.
“When they became students in schools in Boone County I realized just how important our jobs are,” she said.
Kimbler has a long list of accomplishments in her career, including teaching 1st grade students to read and chairing a committee to build a community playground for Brookview Elementary School.
“My greatest accomplishment in teaching however is without a doubt, my students,” she said. “As an elementary teacher we are often remembered in commencement speeches, but we are the backbone of the teaching profession. We shape children’s lives and their futures. I sincerely believe that all of my students, no matter where they come from or what difficulties they may face, can learn and overcome any obstacle. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than for an adult to come up to me and say, ‘You were one of my favorite teachers, you made learning fun!’”
Kimbler also is involved in many community activities, including Earth Day activities, Accelerated Reader Program, just to name a few. She is also member of the Madison Baptist Church, where she is very involved in church activities.
Vicki DeHart said in her recommendation letter that Kimbler is an outstanding teacher, mentor and leader.
“She has a positive effect on those around her,” DeHart said. “She is diligent about creating a learning environment for her students that is both practical and appealing. Susan is a strong believer in discipline, yet she is compassionate when necessary. She is a worthy candidate for this prestigious award.”
Jamie Lynn Price, one of Kimbler’s former students, also recommended her for the award.
“She was my first grade teacher and she also taught my son, Andrew,” she said. “Andrew has ADHD, and her diverse lessons helped him learn, while also enjoying the class. She made a positive impression on my child that he will carry for the rest of his life.”
Linda L. Massey, a cafeteria manager at Sherman Elementary School, was given the “Service Personnel of the Year” award.
“I want to thank those I work with and those who nominated me, but I really want to thank my mother,” Massey said. “She is the one who taught me how to cook in the school system. I like to thank Mrs. Hudson, who was the principal at the school when I started to cook at the school.”
Massey said there were many people who helped her during her 29 year career.
“I had many teach me, so I want to have a teachable spirit, no matter how old I am,” she said. “I want to go through life being able to help and teach others.”
Brenda Viars, Principal of Sherman Elementary, said it was a pleasure to recommend Massey for the award.
“She uses her talents and skills not only as head cook, but as an instructor at continuing education meetings for professional and non-professional employees,” Viars said. “She is a nutritional instructor and is asked by the central office to train newly-hired substitute cooks for Boone County Schools. She serves on various committees and groups and is always willing to contribute her time and hard work to improve Boone County Schools. Linda is all about serving the school to improve the system for students.”
Several other teachers and service personnel were nominated and recognized for their achievements as well during the ceremony.