Governor Lamont Announces Mansfield Educator Named Connecticut’s 2022 Teacher of the Year
Art Teacher Ms. Kim King Earns State’s Highest Teaching Recognition
(MANSFIELD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker today announced that Ms. Kim King, a PK-4 art teacher in Mansfield at both the Southeast Elementary School and the Annie E. Vinton School, has been selected as Connecticut’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, the state’s highest recognition honoring extraordinary teachers.
The governor, commissioner, and other state and local officials delivered the news to King this morning during a surprise visit to Southeast Elementary School, which was followed by a schoolwide assembly celebrating the recognition with the honorees’ fellow educators, family, and students from both schools.
“Connecticut has the best public school teachers of any state in the nation, which is why selecting one recipient for this honor each year is a challenging task, but it is an honor for me to announce that Ms. Kim King is Connecticut’s 2022 Teacher of the Year,” Governor Lamont said. “Ms. King embodies so many of the qualities that delivers success in our schools, and her colleagues in Mansfield Public Schools have been singing her praises. I am fortunate enough to have had several inspiring teachers when I was growing up, and I understand the impact that an educator can have on the lives of students. We owe so much of the success that happens in our communities to the generous teachers who have dedicated themselves to this noble profession. I thank Ms. King and every teacher in Connecticut for what they provide our schools each and every day.”
“Ms. Kim King’s commitment to continuous reflection and refinement of her craft is admirable,” Commissioner Russell-Tucker said. “Her students are privileged to learn under the guidance of not only such a talented artist and educator, but a lifelong learner who demonstrates the very love for discovery that we hope to instill in our students.”
“Kim exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism and dedication to her students, her colleagues, and her community,” Connecticut Education Association President Kate Dias said. “The arts are central to a well-rounded education. As an art teacher, Kim inspires student creativity and enriches the lives of her students, providing opportunities for them to express themselves artistically. A role model to her students, she is committed to her own growth and learning, ensuring that her leadership and teaching practices continue to evolve. Equity, empathy, and respect are at the heart of her teaching, and we are proud to see Kim recognized for the invaluable work she does and for the talent, passion, and dedication she brings to the teaching profession.”
“The Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council extends our heartiest congratulations and a warm welcome to Kim King,” Dave Bosso, president of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council, said. “Kim is an exceptional educator who strives to give all her students a voice through art and creativity, and in doing so, empowers them as young learners and citizens to learn more about themselves and the world beyond the walls of the classroom. It is abundantly evident that Kim, like excellent teachers everywhere, strives each day to ensure that all of her students have a meaningful, memorable, engaging, and powerful educational experience.”
King has served as a K-4 art teacher at Mansfield public schools for the past six years. Prior to that, she served at Riverside Magnet School in East Hartford and Westbrook High School in Westbrook. King uses art education to nurture and stretch her students’ thinking while also helping them recognize the commonality between their own stories and experiences to those of others. She believes that student growth goes hand-in-hand with teacher growth, which is why she is committed to always seeking out new learning opportunities for her professional development. Beyond her classroom, King has worked towards creating safe and equitable spaces of learning for her students and the greater community.
She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in art photography from Syracuse University and her Masters in Art Education from New York University. While at graduate school, King received a graduate assistantship to teach reading in the Bronx, New York through New York University’s Metro Center for Urban Education and John Hopkins University. In 2002, she received an Aetna fellowship to attend UConn’s Connecticut Writing Project Summer Institute. In 2020, she received a grant from Fund for Teachers to study the art and culture of South Korea in an effort to help foster a greater understanding of universal humanity among her students.
“Kim is deeply committed to student-centered practices and supports children to find their voice and express themselves through a discovery-focused process of making art,” Mansfield Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Lyman said. “Kim will be a wonderful advocate for all teachers.”
“When thinking about Ms. King’s classroom, I realized that the foundation of her work is her ability to foster creative confidence in her students,” Mike Seal, principal of Annie E. Vinton School, said. “This sets the stage for the creation of the beautiful work that we so proudly exhibit.”
“Kim’s warm and caring heart comes through in all that she does with our students, families, and staff,” Lauren Rodriguez, principal of Southeast Elementary School, said. “Our children love her because they know how much she cares about them. They also trust that she will help them create their best work – work that shows students’ individuality and creative spark. This is one of the many reasons we value and support the arts in our schools.”
The designation of Connecticut Teacher of the Year is decided annually by the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council, a group comprised of former recipients of the honor and representatives from educational organizations, businesses, and the community. The council reviewed nearly 100 district-level Teachers of the Year through a rigorous selection process that included candidate applications, virtual interviews and site visits, including focus groups with faculty, parents, administration, and students.
King will now become Connecticut’s representative for 2022 National Teacher of the Year. She succeeds Connecticut’s 2021 Teacher of the Year Ms. Rochelle Brown, a kindergarten teacher from Poquonock School in Windsor.