LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Kimberly Leslie

Position: Distance Education High School Science Teacher
School: Connections Homeschool Program
School District: Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
City, State: Soldotna, AK

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Kimberly Leslie was nominated by Shona DeVolld, the parent of a student.

"There are not enough words to express our gratitude and appreciation for Ms. Leslie," said DeVolld. "She entered our lives three years ago, when my daughter was encouraged to take her distance education science course...Even though she was an online educator, we decided to take a leap of faith because she came so highly recommended by her peers and her administrator for her positivity, professionalism, and enthusiasm.  At first I was a little skeptical. Honestly, how life-changing could an online teacher be? I could not have been more wrong."

"Ms. Leslie burst into our lives over Facetime and has been an essential part of our family ever since," said DeVolld. "I could write about her amazing curriculum, her challenging (yet engaging) instruction, and her prompt, effective assessments and evaluations. I could discuss her constant striving for excellence through professional development, trainings, and connections to other educators world-wide. I could even comment on her excellent reputation among her students and peers for being fair-minded, flexible, and highly ethical in all areas of her life. However, the traits I want to extol are far more important than those listed prior."

"Ms. Leslie has changed my daughter's life forever through her nurturing nature, her willingness to go above and beyond expectations, and her love of students," said DeVolld. "My daughter said it best when she was recently highlighted on our district's website."

"My KPBSD Distance Education science teacher, Ms. Leslie, inspires me to set high goals and work diligently to reach them," said DeVolld's daughter. "She always encourages me to be a 'citizen scientist' and to make a difference in our community by following my dreams. She has an amazingly kind and funny personality, and as my role model, she has shown me that curiosity and resiliency are important! Not only does she support my academic life, but she also cares about who I am and what I’m interested in. Because of the way she touches my life - even though we’ve only met in person a few times - I’m planning to go into the same profession: online education. I want to change students’ lives the way she has changed mine."

"Isn't that what we long for in our teachers? That they not only teach their content, but that they inspire diligence, resiliency, and dreaming big? Without a doubt, Ms. Leslie is a LifeChanger," said DeVolld.

Comments (3)

Amanda Adams Posted over a year ago

I wholeheartedly agree with all sentiments stated. Kim Leslie has been my professional comrade and partner for many years now. She continues to drive me to excellence, inspires me to see the world differently, and perhaps most importantly is the most significant contributor to my deep joy and passion in my work. Our collaborations are rich endeavors. This recognition is truly deserved!

DEBORAH ROGERS Posted over a year ago

I have known Kimberly Leslie her entire life. It does not surprise me that she has been nominated for this award. Her energy and enthusiasm (and her ability to share that with others) is impressive. No challenge has been too great for her to tackle. While she is known as a science educator, her artistic talents are equally amazing. I would guess that she puts as much time and effort into teaching a student who plans to be a fisherman, as she does a student who plans to become a rocket scientist. I wish more students could experience that kind of creative thinking and dedication. With her intelligence and education she could have become anything she wanted. However, she touches more lives and influences our future leaders as an educator.

Richard Bartolowits Posted over a year ago

I have had the pleasure of working in a supervisory role with Kim Leslie for more than six years. The qualities identified by Shona and Anna DeVolld are certainly true of Ms. Leslie. As the administrator of the district's online learning program, I have always been amazed by Ms. Leslie's ability to form meaningful relationships with students she has never met face-to-face. Ms. DeVolld is not the first parent to share highly positive comments about Ms. Leslie and her classes. Ms. Leslie is genuinely concerned with students learning meaningful science. Over the years she has created classes that encourage students to pursue their interests to dig deeper into topics. Her efforts to personalize classes have resulted in student engagement in relevant learning. Ms. Leslie is a fine example of an exemplary teacher.