Here are exerpts from her nomination letters: I nominate Kim Gohla for Teacher of the Year because she brings heart to Illing Middle School. Kim strives for excellence. One of the qualities I admire about her the most is that she is always willing to try new ways to engage her students, modeling for her class how to take responsible risks. Having this mindset demonstrates to students that she is a "forever learner." She keeps her lessons fresh, relevant, and engaging while holding her students up to high standards. Kim draws creativity out of her students by allowing room for students' strengths to shine in their projects. She is innovative, intelligent, energetic, and dedicated. Kim works diligently with her colleagues to ensure that her students are getting a strong educational foundation. She is willing to work with team teachers, Unified Arts Teachers, coaches, admins, and her department to help her students with their independent projects. During my time as a classroom teacher, Kim's approachable and optimistic attitude was a priceless lifeline. I am a better educator because of her. I admire that Kim is always willing to learn alongside her students. Even if she is not an expert on a specific tool, she is open to creating new ways to challenge her students' thinking. Kim lives by the Habits of Mind daily, and is a wonderful influence on her classes. Kim teaches the enrichment curriculum at Illing so she is not lacking creativity. She continuously creates new projects to challenge her students to think outside the box and make real world connections. She can make a boring idea turn into a magical thought at the blink of an eye. Kim works tirelessly with colleagues to keep her curriculum fresh and exciting. She has an open mind and lets the students express themselves in many ways which allows them to find success in her class. She also takes part in displaying the excellence in her classroom by organizing a showcase for the community members to see, how awesome. Kim shows courage everyday in her classroom through making connections with kids and getting them excited about learning. With some of the enrichment activities the students have to find failure before they can reach success. For a teacher that can be difficult to not want to just jump in and help them right away but instead she shows courage by continuously encouraging them to problem solve, which is tough. Kim is also involved with a group that tries to ensure positive climate by putting on pop up parties in the cafeteria. This has generated a high volume of excitement and students are making sure to be on their best STAR's behavior in order to earn money so that they can participate in these parties. She has shown excellent creativity and collaboration in helping to plan these events as well as courage in showcasing herself in a silly manner just to ensure that the students have fun. There is nothing that is not excellent about Kim Gohla. She puts her best foot forward everyday and therefore gets the most out of all of her students. She is very involved in the school community by being a part of several committee's. There is not a day that goes by that Kim does not have a smile on her face, or when she doesn't greet you in the hallway.
~ INTERIM PRINCIPAL MATT GEARY