Kim Spence’s passion for kids and connecting with teachers statewide makes her the perfect fit for the role of Launch’s new Assistant Principal. Meet her here.
Tell us about your background in education.
I spent the first year of my career in Gainesville, MO as a halftime high school math teacher, halftime elementary computer teacher. I then moved to teach high school math and coach varsity softball at Forsyth High School for one year. Finally, I moved to Ozark, where I have been for the last 26 years working as a middle and high school math teacher, and at the district office working with the Teaching and Learning Division as a grade 6-12 instructional math coach. It's been quite the ride!
Were you familiar with Launch before taking this role?
Yes! I have been working with Launch since January as a math teacher and a course writer. As a Launch teacher, it has really opened my eyes to the opportunities we have to reach students via different avenues. I have one group of students whose district was unable to find a math teacher, so Launch was their only access. I also had another student who has been out of the country the entire semester and is still able to get their credits through Launch. It's so nice to know we have this option for kids, and it's been fun getting to hear their stories.
Why did you decide to work for Launch?
I have always been interested in educational technology and computer science. Technology opens so many doors for students which may have never been possible before. It is a tool that has transformed everything we do and can really level the playing field for so many kids.
It's also exciting to see how popular Launch has become and how much it has grown in such a short time. This demonstrates a clear need in the state for distance learning. Another thing that drew me to Launch was its commitment to doing things right. The Launch team always goes above and beyond when it comes to making sure kids have what they need to succeed. The commitment to reaching all kids, as well as the commitment to high quality curriculum and instruction, would be enticing to any educational junkie!
What are you most looking forward to in your role as Assistant Principal?
I am most looking forward to collaborating with a team that is constantly innovating and improving their practice. The Launch team seems to have a ceiling that is unreachable. They are always striving to improve and aren't afraid to fail. I like this in an organization. It's how we grow. They say, "If you aren't failing, you aren't growing!" Working with individuals who have no bounds for what they are willing to try is exciting! I am also excited about working with teachers across the state as they work to reach students like never before. Launch is creating a state-wide network of teachers committed to the same goals. It will be nice working for an organization whose reach spans across so many Missouri communities.
What are you most passionate about in your work?
I am most passionate about keeping doors open for kids. I think we have created so many policies in education that tell kids they "can't" or they "aren't smart enough," and I think it's time these policies change. Believing in every child's limitless potential and encouraging them to believe it, too, is what I am passionate about.
Tell us a little bit about your family (pets count, too)!
Well, I have a husband who is a fire marshal in Springfield. He is probably the best husband I could have ever found because he tolerates my crazy schedule! I also have three beautiful children. My oldest daughter, Lauren, is a 5th grade teacher in Sparta. She is married and has two beautiful babies. My middle daughter, Lakynn, is married and works as a kindergarten teacher in Nixa. She will deliver my third grandbaby in October. My youngest son, Lawson, attends Drury University and is a Biology/Physics major. My pet family continues to grow because I keep inheriting puppies my kids don't want! We now have three dogs, of which I use to either cover my lap when I am cold or pull me up hills when I am running.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to run with my running buddies, and I love to hike! When I have time, I love to quilt and do crafts. I also love to go out and eat amazing food at a place I have never been before, and I love BIG family get-togethers.
What is your favorite streaming platform?
I have been a pretty big fan of Apple TV lately. I also love Netflix! But really, I hate to admit this, but "not so" reality TV is probably my favorite. In other words, whatever mindless TV I can find, I am up for!
What is one fact that amazes you every time you think of it?
One thing that amazes me is how people can plan a meal every night of the week! I still haven't figured that one out. If it has more than four ingredients, I am OUT!
What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
I just recently paid $18 for dishwasher soap. (Did you say spontaneous or dumb?)
If you could shop for free at one store, which one would you choose?
It would definitely be either Ashley Furniture or Best Buy!
Does pineapple belong on pizza?