Kim Dobson

Kimberly Dobson, a Structured Teach program teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School, was announced earlier this evening as the 2018 Dr. John W. Harris Teacher of the Year. Ms. Dobson has been a teacher with the Sioux Falls School District for a total of 26 years and has been teaching at Horace Mann for 4 years.

The Sioux Falls School District and Vern Eide Motorcars co-sponsor the annual Teacher of the Year award and made the announcement Monday night. Vern Eide Motorcars has been providing a financial award for the winner annually since 1989. Michael Larsen, Director of Human Resources at Vern Eide, generously presented Ms. Dobson with a check for $4,000.

Criteria for selection of the Teacher of the Year include:

  • Commitment to lifelong learning
  • Effectiveness in meeting students' needs
  • Impact on student achievement 
  • Effectiveness of home-school cooperation
  • Community involvement to promote school-community relations 

In their combined six letters of nomination, instructional coaches, administrators, and fellow teachers say, “For the past 17 years I have seen Kim work her magic as a RISE teacher, an integration specialist, and now as a Structured Teach Educator. She is a member of her school’s leadership team, student assistance team committee, is the building’s SPED evaluation team leader, mentors new teachers, leads collaborations, provides professional development and designs/delivers effective lessons and instruction tailored to the individual needs of her students. Her students feel special, safe and secure. Ms. Dobson is a master teacher who has the unique ability to be a mentor and mom to other teachers and EAs. She is perceived as the District’s “autism expert” with administrators, teachers and parents. She exudes passion, fortitude and integrity in all situations. She has truly been an inspiration for me in my teaching career, and her dedication, professionalism, work ethic and service, demonstrated consistently through each role she’s held, are remarkable. If there is an academic topic, Kim knows at least three ways to teach it so the student gets it. Kim is an educator who exhibits a JOY of teaching with a distinct passion for learning. She passes the benefits of this on to the next generation every minute, every hour of every day.”

There were a record 91 nominees for Teacher of the Year in 2018, the 30th year of the program.

Other 2018 finalists were: Kristi Hansen, Rosa Parks Elementary - 1st Grade; Stacy Marnach, Cleveland Elementary - 4th Grade; Julie Stjernholm, R.F. Pettigrew Elementary - 5th Grade; Lynn Thomason, Lincoln High School - Latin.

Watch an interview with 2018 Teacher of the Year Kim Dobson below.