Our Welcome To Sanford Teacher of the Week is Kimberly Newman of Deep River Elementary School. Mrs. Newman is a kindergarten teacher and has been a Gator for 17 out of her 29 years of teaching. She holds a Bachelor in Science in Special Education/Elementary Education from what is now Winthrop University, as well as a B-K certification. Mrs. Newman was also recently recognized as the 2018-29 Deep River Elementary School Teacher of the Year.
Mrs. Newman believes that children learn in their own unique way, given the appropriate educational environment. She observes, “Everyone in the school contributes to the classroom: the students, teachers, parents, administrators and the community. This investment in time, knowledge, talent and experience creates a positive and successful learner.”
Mrs. Newman comes from a family of teachers. Her mother and grandmother were both been in the profession, and she knew early on that she wanted to be a teacher. Mrs. Newman also had many teachers while she was in school that inspired and encouraged her throughout her educational journey. She comments, “The most impact was made by the teachers that took a real interest in me and showed me that learning can be fun and that it’s not always about the subject or the end product, it’s about how you get to the end and how you take what you learn and use it in life!”
Mrs. Newman’s very first kindergarten class at Deep River has just now graduated from high school, and this led to one of Mrs. Newman’s best teaching experiences, as she reounts, “One of my past kindergarten students came by to see me before the spring holiday and brought me a formal invitation to her Lee County High School graduation with a ticket enclosed. She said that she wanted me there to see her cross the stage and to know that I made a difference in her life! Wow! That’s worth everything this teacher ever could have imagined! It’s not about me, it’s about the choices we make in life and how those choices contribute to a journey that God has planned and those he has put in our path along the way.”
Mrs. Newman would offer the following advice for future educators: “Teaching is a passion, a calling and a mission field. It requires dedication, determination, sacrifice, prayer, hard work, responsibility and ownership of the responsibility we as educators carry. To teach is to touch a life and it is one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences you could ever have.” In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Newman is a member of Flat Springs Baptist Church in the Deep River community, where she serves on the “Hands and Feet” Woman on Missions group and “Quilters for Christ”.