Connecticut Teacher of the Year 2022 - Kim King
Southeast and Annie E. Vinton Schools, Mansfield School District
For the past 6 years, Kim King has been teaching Art and inspiring students in Mansfield Public Schools to trust, nurture, and stretch their ideas by creating opportunities to solve problems and express their singular thinking through a variety of art media. Kim divides her time between two amazing schools, Annie E. Vinton Elementary and Southeast Elementary. Prior to that Kim worked as an Atelierista at Riverside Magnet School (formerly Goodwin College Early Childhood Magnet School), a Reggio Emilia-inspired elementary school in East Hartford, CT. Kim began her teaching career at Westbrook High School in Westbrook, CT teaching Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Ceramics, and Photography where she enjoyed teaching and mentoring young adults as they prepared for the next stage of their lives.
An integral theme of Kim’s philosophy of teaching is the role of the teacher as facilitator, learner, and researcher. Student growth goes hand in hand with teacher growth. Kim believes in continually reflecting on and refining her teaching practices and seeking out learning opportunities. In 2020, Kim received a grant from Fund for Teachers to study the art and culture of South Korea in order to help students grow a greater understanding of our universal humanity despite differences and cultural perspectives. In 2002 she received an Aetna fellowship to attend UCONN’s Connecticut Writing Project Summer Institute. While at graduate school, Kim received a graduate assistantship to teach reading in the Bronx, NY through New York University's Metro Center for Urban Education and John Hopkins University.
As a transracial intercountry adoptee and parent to an adopted daughter and a biracial transgender son, Kim has a profound understanding of intersectionality. She believes what our students see and what they are exposed to matters profoundly. Students need to see accurate representations of themselves in art, science, literature, and media so that they can imagine a future where they are active contributors. Kim believes that art provides bridges of understanding that help students recognize the commonality between their own stories and experiences to those of others. Beyond her classroom, Kim has worked towards creating safe and equitable spaces of learning for her students and the greater community. In her district, she is a member of the 21st Learning Committee, Leadership Team, Curriculum Committee, Equity Committee, and Social-Emotional Learning Committee. Kim has a passion for mentoring and has guided 6 beginning teachers through the CT TEAM program. Outside of school Kim is actively involved in the Korean Adoptee Community, has taught English to a Syrian refugee and Korean immigrants, and recently partnered with Make Us Visible CT to help write the CT AAPI Art curriculum.
Kim received her Masters in Art Education from New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Art Photography from Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts. Kim is a freelance artist, designer, and writer. She has had her work published by Family Fun, This Old House, Reader’s Digest, and Marine Money magazines. She has designed tableware, figurines, and giftware for Amscan Inc. Her work was selected for the book cover art for More Voices: A Collection of Work from Asian Adoptees; for which she also contributed a personal essay.
Kim feels fortunate to have had diverse work, life, and teaching experiences. Each experience has shaped who she is as an educator. Throughout her career, the themes of equity, empathy, and respect are at the heart of her teaching philosophy. Kim’s students will always be at the center of learning. She is excited for the work that lays ahead and is committed to continued growth and learning.
Duties of the Connecticut Teacher of the Year
The Connecticut Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year finalists serve as teacher-ambassadors for public education. They are appointed to various education advisory committees and become consultants to the Commissioner of Education. They present workshops; speak at education conferences and meetings; address student, civic, college and university, and governmental groups; and operate special programs in accordance with their interests and expertise. The Connecticut Teacher of the Year also represents the state at the national level - participating in national educational forums, National State Teacher of the Year Program planning and networking sessions, and U.S. Department of Education meetings.