Kim McKay, a kindergarten teacher at Hidden Valley Satellite School in Santa Rosa, has been named Sonoma County Teacher of the Month for January 2018.
The monthly award honors one of Sonoma County’s most outstanding teachers from October through May. It is sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), K-HITS 1049, and Community First Credit Union (CFCU), with additional support from Platinum Chevrolet.
“During these challenging times of post-fire recovery, we need teachers more than ever to help our students overcome adversity and thrive,” said Steven D. Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools. “The Teacher of the Month program this year seeks to honor, support, and thank those teachers.”
Ms. McKay embodied this spirit of community mindedness and support after the fire. Her classroom and the school she worked at was destroyed in the North Bay Firestorm that swept Sonoma County in October, 2018. Many of her young students lost their homes or were forced to evacuate in the middle of the night. Since then, she has thrown her efforts into rebuilding her classroom as a warm, comforting place for her students.
“Kim McKay was my first and second child’s kindergarten teacher. She became and remains one of my favorite people,” read one nomination for Ms. McKay. “Her passion for her job and love for those kids knows no bounds.” Despite the community’s hardship, Ms McKay is continually “looking to the light in order to keep those kids happy and learning.”
Ms. McKay was awarded at a school-wide assembly with the award, which includes a plaque and $400 classroom supply gift card. Students and staff members alike cheered enthusiastically when they heard she had won. She said she was completely surprised, and credited the parents of her students for helping to make her classroom a great place for kids. She added that the plaque would make a wonderful addition on her new classroom walls as she redecorates.
Ms. McKay and Mr. Drake, who was teacher of the month last year.