Sara Crystal | Kimberly
Director of Curriculum and Assessment, GT Coordinator
Teaching is one of the greatest joys of my life. My "career" as a teacher began at about the age of six, when I used my mother's leftover classroom supplies to teach my younger siblings and an assortment of stuffed animals. Though my passion for the teaching craft is every bit as strong, my audience has changed over the years. I now see myself as a teacher of teachers. As an administrator, every decision I make is grounded on the principle of giving our students the best that we can give them.
I am in my fourth year as Kimberly's Director of Curriculum and Assessment (which includes Professional Development Coordinator and Gifted and Talented Coordinator). This position has been an amazing opportunity for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the dedicated staff at Kimberly.
The highlight of my work in the Kimberly School District has been the development of professional learning communities. Through these programs I am humbled by the desire of educators to improve their craft and increase student achievement. This achiement includes, but is so much for than test scores. These programs include our Kimberly Core Programs and our Differentiation Specialist Program. Additionally, I have been a part of our teacher wellness initiatives that include opportunities for teachers to take care of their own personal needs.
I came to this position after a year of working as the Region IV ELA/Literacy Idaho Core Coach. Being a co-creator of the Idaho Core Teacher Leader Network taught me much about not only best instructional practices, but also educational leadership and professional development. I will always appreciate the many connections with excellent educators I was able to make through this project. I am grateful for the chance to have visited schools across our region and state.
One year prior to my work with the SDE, I launched my work in instructional coaching as Kimberly's Idaho Core/Schoolnet Integration coach. I worked with each teacher from pk-12 to help them develop a standards aligned unit. I also facilitated monthly department/grade-level collaboration as well as provided district-wide PD.
In 2007, I became a Boise State Writing Project fellow. This professional development experience was paramount in my professional journey. Through this coursework, I became a more reflective practitioner and began to understand the principles of quality professional development. As a Boise State Writing Project Teacher Consultant, I have been able to travel the state delivering professional development.
My classroom experience is foundational in my understanding of how students learn and what teachers need. I have taught second, third, and fifth grades as well as first grade reading intervention, summer school (grades 2 and 3), and afterschool/summer art programs.
Every student can learn. Every educator is a student. I want to be a "lead learner", always growing and improving, so that others will be inspired to join me. I try to approach each day as an opportunity to find and celebrate the strengths of others. My vision for Kimberly School District is to build on already firm foundation of excellence, developing a culture that truly enjoys learning together.
The Continuing Kimberly Core Teacher Team- Rock Creek
The Kimberly Core Teacher Team- Phase 1