“There are so many rewarding aspects to what I do,” said Kim Berry Williams, the Preschool Special Education Teacher at Rockwell Elementary School. The progress her students make once they are in the program really keeps her motivated.
“When a child says their first word, takes their first step or learns to write their name,” Kim shared, “it never gets old! I love to see how much they grow throughout the school year!”
Kim has been teaching for Baldwin County Schools for the last 28 years. She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, with a minor in Child Development from the University of Alabama.
“Originally, I wanted to be a doctor, specifically a pediatrician, but was discouraged by college advisors that I was not strong enough in math skills. I knew I wanted to work with children in a medical capacity, so I was searching for the perfect fit,” explains Kim. Her search led her to sign up to help at Camp ASCCA in Jackson Hole, Alabama. ASCCA is an acronym that stands for Alabama’s Special Camp for Children and Adults and it provides year-round experiences for both children and adults with disabilities. Her experience at camp led her to return to school to pursue her degree in Special Education.
Currently, Kim teaches a Specialized Inclusion Class for children with special needs who need an IEP (individualized education program). Her students are ages three to five.“
It is the biggest honor of all to be nominated by a parent, because they are the ones who need me as much as their child does,” Kim shared. “My goal is to get their child ready to join his/her peers in school and, most of all, to teach their child that they are important and can do anything they want to do… it just takes hard work. I am so lucky to have the best parents who are so supportive and helpful.”
With Kim’s dedication, passion and her nearly30 year commitment to teaching, we asked her to share advice with other teachers who might be reading. She said, “I guess the best advice is to remember why you went into education in the first place… the joy and wonder of a child learning.
When not in the classroom, Kim enjoys being with her family! She has been married to her husband David for 30 years and together they have three beautiful children – Ally (24), Zack (22)and Hill (16). Kim enjoys being outside at the beach, on a boat or gardening in her yard. To unwind, she loves to read!