ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — If we’re lucky, most of us can name one or two teachers who touched our hearts while we were students. Hundreds of Alexandria City Public Schools students can say their hearts were touched thanks to teacher Kimberley Wilson.
After 28 years of teaching for the school system, Wilson has been named Teacher of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education, a nonprofit organization that encourages quality education to get students on the right career path. Wilson was selected out of four other teachers; altogether they represented five total regions in the United States school system.
Wilson teaches early childhood education and Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow at T.C. Williams High School. She says her own CTE teachers inspired her to become a teacher herself. Since starting in education, she’s been paying it forward; giving back to her students by giving them the life lessons she was taught by her own mentors. Wilson says she often stays in touch with her students after they graduate (especially if they become educators, too), who affectionately call her Momma Wilson.
Wilson recalls the moment her name was called on stage in Anaheim, Ca. for the awards ceremony. “The person next to me had to kind of nudge me and said, ‘They just said your name.'”
The award isn’t only hers: Wilson says it’s dedicated to her own mentors and her mentees. “It’s not about me. It’s about my students. It’s about letting them know that you can do anything. That there is nothing that you cannot do. It’s not where you’ve been, it’s where you end.”