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Dunbar teacher to promote classroom careers

Kimberly Snodgrass never intended to serve as a classroom teacher. “My goal was to be a lawyer, but it didn’t work out. I had to come up with Plan B. I actually stumbled into education,” she said. Now she hopes her journey can inspire others to join the ranks and help ease the nationwide teacher shortage. “We are in a very important profession. We are touching the lives of our future,” she said.

Snodgrass, representing Fayette County Public Schools, is among 22 ambassadors the Kentucky Department of Education chose for the 2022 cohort of GoTeachKY. Its mission is to ensure that all students have equitable access to effective educators. “Any way that I can get people interested and passionate about it, I’m all for it,” said Snodgrass, a social studies teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School since 2015. “We need to get more people into the profession who look like the students, especially in an urban area like here in Lexington,” she added.

Her story began in her native Georgia, where a family friend and middle school principal recruited her as a long-term substitute. “Teaching found me. It wasn’t something I was looking for,” Snodgrass said. “I went back and took the alternative route for teacher certification, and here we are. I love what I do!”

Snodgrass currently teaches African-American Heritage and Advanced Government classes at Dunbar, where she also serves on the school’s leadership team, as a coordinator for the afternoon Extended School Services (ESS) program, and an Imagine Learning ambassador. Her prior classroom experience includes three years at Leestown Middle and one year at East Jessamine Middle School, and administrative roles at Meadowthorpe Elementary. She earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Albany State and a master’s and specialist degree in School Leadership from Eastern Kentucky University.

This semester, Snodgrass is on track to complete a doctorate from EKU in Educational Leadership, Policy Studies, and Social Change. Her dissertation focuses on relationships and student engagement, which pairs well with her new role as a GoTeachKY ambassador. “As educators, we have that ability to motivate and influence our students to do great things, and that’s why I’m so excited about being in this program,” she said.

About GoTeachKY

The Kentucky Department of Education will feature the ambassadors’ journeys on social media as examples of the myriad pathways to education careers. Ambassadors will also represent GoTeachKY at career fairs and other events. They have three goals:

  • To inspire high school and college students to consider teaching as a career;
  • To encourage current and potential teachers by highlighting the rewards and opportunities associated with a career in education; and
  • To support and promote the central focus areas, programs, and organizations of GoTeachKY, such as Educators Rising and the Teaching & Learning career pathway.

Principal Betsy Rains“We are proud of Kim for being named an ambassador for GoTeachKY. Kim is passionate about teaching and making sure practices are equitable for all, and she will be a great advocate for education.” -- Dunbar Principal Betsy Rains

KDE resources: GoTeachKY

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(Posted Oct. 29, 2021)

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