What an interesting two years! Although the world of education has a high degree of unpredictability, who would have thought the events would transform how we think about student learning, how we interact with students, and how we engage children in the most complicated circumstances. How do you find the time to connect? Why are you so persistent? What makes you push forward despite the competing forces that impede student success?
When I think of you and all your efforts, I cannot help but think about the great Olympians who train intensely with the vision of becoming a gold medalist for their countries. One such competition where an Olympian “beat the odds” comes to mind. In the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, “Eric the Eel” Moussambani proclaimed a profound perspective which sparked global inspiration. He indicated that it is not all about winning. It is about participating, ambition and showing initiative to the vision of winning. Moussambani, from New Guinea, trained for the swim competition in a hotel pool, never really had a professional coach, and barely had the financial resources to pursue his dream of becoming an Olympian. Despite his perceived resources, his drive, ambition, and vision overrode any thought of failure.
Moussambani competed. Despite receiving one of the slowest times in Olympic history for the competition, Moussambani completed the race. He became known as “Eric the Eel” because his resilience embodied the soul of an Olympian in that it isn’t always about winning, it is about participating and finishing the race. When interviewed, Moussambani stated, “The first 50 meters were OK, but in the second 50 meters I got a bit worried and thought I wasn’t going to make it. Then something happened. I think it was all the people getting behind me. I was really, really proud. It’s still a great feeling for me, and I loved when everyone applauded me at the end. I felt like I had won a medal or something.”
When I reflect on our teachers, teacher leaders, curriculum writers, professional development teams and others, I cannot help but think we embody the spirit of champions. We prepare, coach, train, and build champion learners who eventually become champion citizens and champion contributors to the advancement of the world. While Teacher Appreciation Month is May, every day you are appreciated, respected and admired for a job well done. On behalf of the leaders and customers of Imagine Learning, I salute you with infinite gratitude and appreciation.
In partnership for results,
Dr. Kimberlin V. Rivers
Vice President of Instruction, Instructional Services
Vice President of Instruction, Instructional Services, Imagine Learning
Dr. Kimberlin Rivers is Instructional Services’ Vice President of Instruction. Kimberlin’s quiet moments span from reading great business literature to engaging in family celebrations. In addition to spending time with her two children, she also leads the most renowned K-12 Instructional Services teaching team in the U.S. Soon celebrating her ninth-year anniversary with the company, Dr. Rivers brings a wealth of educational administration knowledge in teaching and leading. In addition, she has over 25 years of management experience in both the public and private education sectors as well as in international transport and logistics management. In terms of education and credentials, Kimberlin possesses a B.S in Organizational Management, Development, and Leadership, M. Ed in Educational Technology, Ed.S in Educational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Educational Law. Dr. Rivers holds Teaching, Principal, and Division Superintendent licenses in the state of Virginia.