2020 T.O.Y. Finalist: Kim Sedlmeyer

Kim Sedlmeyer

First Grade Teacher, Escuela Avancemos Academy
Kim was working as a long-term substitute teacher and summer school teacher in Canton, and while she loved her students and coworkers, she just felt it wasn’t her forever home. When a close friend contacted her about a new school opening up in Southwest Detroit, called Escuela Avancemos Academy, she was intrigued. The idea of being part of something new and innovative, where educators got to help build the plane while flying it, seemed like just the challenge she was looking for. Serving a significant Latino population, Escuela works diligently to be a collaborative, community-oriented school, where parents and educators work hand-in-hand to support students, and breaking down communication barriers comes first. Kim's endless positive energy and love for learning makes her not only a successful teacher, but one who's constantly pushing the envelope to create new projects and opportunities. On top of teaching duties, Kim also leads the school's annual Nutcracker production, involving students spanning different grades. She began the project with zero budget all on her own - it's now a thriving extracurricular staple.
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Why are you proud to be a charter school educator?

I love working at a place that prioritizes teacher voice, that prioritizes parent and student voice - everything we do (inside and outside of the classroom) on a daily basis is for those kids, it’s for their families. We do what is best for student outcomes, bottom line - it’s at the forefront.

How has your team adapted to distance learning amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?

I teach seven year olds - this is typically the time of year that they start coming out of their shell, and really letting their personalities thrive - and it’s heartbreaking for me to not witness that in the classroom. But the Escuela team has really worked hard to transition to online learning, and online social/emotional support. In addition to my lessons, I’m leading daily recess activities - incorporating things like yoga (the kids really enjoy this!), nature walks and more.

More about Kim:

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Check out this collection of photos, submitted by Kim, and get a peek into her life as a teacher! 

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Hear from Escuela Principal Sean Townin and Advanced Technology Academy teacher (and Kim's fiance!) Daniel Addison, why Kim is deserving of the 2020 TOY Award!

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