Kara Kimball uses her past to form her future

More stories from Alexis Puffer


Resource room teacher Kara Kimball cares for her students not only through the pages of a book but also in life’s hardships. 

Kimball has an unknown past in criminal justice, something you would not expect from her colorful persona and comforting presence. During her earlier years in criminal justice, she worked with students. This was until she had decided it was time to give up jail cells and leap into a new world of textbooks into the education system.

“I knew I wanted to impact kids before they were in the criminal justice system,” Kimball said.

Kimball hopes to have a positive effect on students’ lives, working to give them what they need for a positive future. Though Kimball has a soft spot for troubled students as well as those with issues at home, she still makes sure to evaluate and care for unproblematic students as well.

“My criminal justice career definitely helped me to get a little background as to what [student’s] lives are like,” Kimball said, “as well as helping me to understand and get more empathy for those students, not just the problem students but every student.” 

Kimball’s short but lasting time in criminal justice has molded the way she teaches today; she hopes to give students a peaceful place to learn with a welcoming room consisting of an array of color and homely vibes. Her classroom is a place that takes the students away from home concerns and allows them to focus on their education. 

Kimball finds the feeling of knowing she saved a student from potential trouble is rewarding in every way. She loves to watch them grow up and know she made an impact on these students’ lives. 

One way she tries to make an impact on students’ lives is by giving them a safe place in her room for them to talk about their feelings and get a proper education in a relaxing environment. 

“The learning environment I strive to provide is a laid back and [a place] where the kids can talk to me and I can talk to them and make them feel comfortable,” Kimball said.

Kimball loves her day and loves that she gets to see many faces every day not just in her room but in other teacher’s rooms as well.

Kimball doesn’t just teach literature and grammar, she also teaches her students real-life skills like problem-solving and everyday reading, such as cooking and baking recipes.

“I love my day because I get to work [in my room] and co-teach,” Kimball said. “Then [I] teach a strategies class of my own and support kids.”

Kimball doesn’t just teach literature and grammar, she also teaches her students real-life skills like problem-solving and everyday reading, such as cooking and baking recipes. 

“In here,” Kimball said, “they are really and truly learning life skills like reading recipes and seeing ingredients and how to follow directions.”  

 These skills are very important to common life outside of a classroom or learning environment. Reading is everywhere, not just in recipes but books and road signs, too. Kimball believes that reading is very important for development as well as entertainment value. 

“I love reading,” Kimball said, “and I love teaching kids to find figurative language as well as pointing it out [to them]. I really want my kids to love reading. I want to foster a love of reading and books.”

Reading is one of the many successes Kimball hopes to have helped students with in order to be successful in life. She loves to see students get into the things they enjoy whether it be now or far into the future. 

“I hope to see [students] become successful members in society, whether it’s going to college or getting a job; if they can do something they love, I’m happy,” Kimball said.