Two new faces will be leading curriculum efforts for the Ottumwa district starting in August.
Kym Stein is the district's new elementary School Improvement Leader. She has been an educator in Iowa for almost 30 years. Most recently serving in the Grinnell-Newburg Community School District as their Director of Instruction and Curriculum. She has also worked as an elementary teacher; special education teacher in both elementary and middle school; middle school math and science teacher; building administrator; School Improvement Consultant; and Team Rep for Area Education Agency 267. I am a graduate of the Iowa State Certificate of Advanced Studies in the Superintendence, and also hold a master’s degree in Curriculum, as well as an undergraduate degree from Buena Vista University in K-8 education.
"My energy comes from a strong belief that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. It is my desire as an educator to help administrators and teachers meet their fullest potential in these areas by providing an environment that is safe, supports risk-taking, and invites a sharing of ideas. As we continue to focus on the alignment of the Iowa Core Curriculum, we need to move students into the 21st century by creating a framework that sets standards for teaching academic subjects to maximize rigor, increase student engagement, support in-depth coverage of material, and equip students with the skills required to prosper in today's world. I look forward to advancing my knowledge of the community and district. I am excited to meet the staff and listen to their needs, as well as, visit your schools and classrooms to see all the great things that are going on!"
Jeff Kirby will be the district's secondary School Improvement Leader. He began his career in education in 1995 in Sibley-Ocheyedan, and the next year moved to Sigourney where he spent the next 15 years working as a teacher and an Elementary and JH/High School principal. In Sigourney, Jeff led the implementation of one of the first one-to-one schools in Iowa. He also implemented a Charter School and a Career Academy to provide additional programming for the Sigourney high school students. In 2012, Jeff moved to Grinnell-Newburg CSD and became the 3rd/4th-grade principal at Davis Elementary. He also served as the district's Director and Technology and Special Education. In the fall of 2014, Jeff's building received the Iowa Department of Education's Breaking Barriers award. Additionally, in the fall of 2015, Davis Elementary received the National Blue Ribbon School Award.
"I am excited and honored to become part of the team at Ottumwa Schools," Jeff said. "I have a passion for student learning and providing support to help students and adults grow and improve. I look forward to getting started in Ottumwa and working with the staff and administrators at Ottumwa Schools. Go Bulldogs!"