"There must be a bigger purpose, a bigger story, than what we know,” said Kathy Nimmer at a banquet celebrating her finalist position for the 2015 National Teacher of the Year.
Nimmer, who has taught at Harrison since 1992, would have never imagined that this is what the future had in store for her.
Like all teachers, Nimmer’s career has had both its highs and its lows, and although she has had to face more obstacles than others, she has never given up.
“We all have a story to tell; mine includes a disability, but we all have something to overcome, and my students know that,” says Nimmer. “Helping my students find their voices through writing and literature has been a privilege and will continue to be what feeds my soul. My passion for creativity matches the incredible imaginations of my students, so I am blessed daily.”
“Miss Nimmer is one of the most inspiring women I have ever met,” says Nimmer’s former student Anabelle Camp. “She is able to connect to each and every student on a personal level, and her encouragement makes everyone in her class want to succeed.”
“I’m not surprised Miss Nimmer has made it this far in the National Teacher of the Year competition,” said senior Annie Powers. “Her teaching style and personality set her apart from every other teacher I have ever known.”
“Because of Miss Nimmer I have grown as a writer, and am now able to express myself through writing both prose and poetry,” said Powers. “She has a gift when it comes to teaching—especially writing—and is also able to motivate students to do their best and to be creative.”
Principal Remaly has also taken note of Nimmer’s positivity and special gift for teaching.
“Her passion for learning and teaching immerses her students in an environment that inspires creativity and challenges them to reach a level of understanding they are not accustomed to. Kathy is an overcomer and her students benefit not only from her innovative instruction, but also her positive outlook on life.”
Although very thankful for the award, Nimmer stresses that she does not do her job for the accolades.
"What matters most in this world is the relationships, the love, the hope, and the faith that we give each other," said Nimmer.
Coming up this month, Nimmer will travel to Washington DC where she will be interviewed for National Teacher of the Year.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) will then announce in April who the 2015 National Teacher of the Year is.
Even with all this national attention, Nimmer is staying grounded and continuing to do what she does best—teach.
"I just do what I can to get through the day, and that's teaching,” said Nimmer.
Written by Evan Pearl