The North Canton Area Chamber, Westfield Bank and Starbucks congratulate Kim White, February’s “Educator of the Month” award winner.
The monthly award honors a North Canton City Schools staff member who exemplifies excellence in education in their interaction with students, parents and other staff members.
Kim is a kindergarten teacher at Northwood Elementary School with 23 years of service to the NCCS. Principal Matt Donaldson credits her with helping make the transition to full-day kindergarten a success at the school.
Name: Kimberly J. White
Town of residence: North Canton
Family: My parents reside in Canal Fulton. My four siblings live in the Canal Fulton and Massillon areas.
Education: Bachelor's degree in education and master's in education and in early childhood education from Kent State University
North Canton Patch: When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
Kim White: When I was in elementary school, one of our favorite past times during the summer was playing school. And I always wanted to be the teacher. Then as a young adult when I planned to return to college to pursue a B.S. degree, God led me into the field of early childhood education.
North Canton Patch: As an educator, you serve as a role model for a lot of these kids, and I wanted to ask who did you look up to growing up, or even now, who do you find inspiration in?
White: I can clearly remember my third grade teacher who taught each student to knit during her lunch time. And my sixth grade teacher who stretched us to be authors and write our own classroom yearbook. While employed as a medical secretary, my boss encouraged me to return to college to pursue a degree in education. My parents and grandmother have been my biggest cheerleaders throughout my life. I am truly blessed because God has placed colleagues and friends in my life who have shared wise counsel along the way.
North Canton Patch: How did you help the school make the transition to all-day, every-day kindergarten?
White: The transition has been a collaborative team effort from the beginning. Last year, I was part of a committee who met regularly to brainstorm and plan for the move to all-day kindergarten. With input from fellow kindergarten teachers and administrators, we developed a schedule for the kindergarten day, made lists of furniture and materials that would be needed for new kindergarten classrooms and discussed daily routines for students (i.e., arrival , dismissal, bathroom breaks).
North Canton Patch: Your funniest, most embarrassing or most memorable moment you’ve had teaching here?
White: My most memorable moments have been when I received the Educator Award from the Education Endowment Committee and this recognition as Educator of the Month. These awards hold a special place in my heart because they reflect my peers/colleagues' perception of my work in the North Canton City School system.
North Canton Patch: How do you try to inspire other teachers to succeed?
White: I have been a mentor to new teachers and high school students for many years. I always try to encourage them, help them to reflect on their teaching practices and provide support/collaboration/resources as needed. Over the past three summers I have had the privilege of mentoring teachers in Quito, Ecuador during summer mission trips.
During the course of the 2012-2013 award cycle persons from each of the district's buildings will be honored. For the second year the Chamber has partnered with Westfield Bank and the Washington Square Starbucks on the project. Each monthly winner receives a plaque and a Starbucks gift basket, which includes a copy of CEO Howard Schultz’ "Onward" book. Schultz initiated Starbucks’ “Empowering Educators” program to highlight educators and school systems making a difference in the lives of their students and communities.