Kimberly Nurse, an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) coordinator and teacher at Kempsville High School, is the 2022 Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) Citywide Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Aaron Spence made the announcement during a surprise visit to Nurse’s classroom May 4.
“Educators like Kimberly Nurse are the reason Virginia Beach is the best place on the East Coast to raise a family,” he said. “She puts children first in everything she does and advocates not only for their education, but also for their social and emotional development. This honor is well-deserved, and I could not be prouder to have her represent the work our teachers do for every student, every day.”
Nurse attended Norfolk State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in history/pre-law and her master’s degree in special education. She has since served 15 years as a special education teacher for Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS). She worked at Seatack Elementary School and Landstown High School before coming to Kempsville High School (KHS) in 2018, where she recently accepted a new position as an AVID coordinator and teacher.
“I teach because I believe in the power of each of my students to grow and become productive members of society,” Nurse wrote in her Teacher of the Year application. “I believe in their stories, dreams and wishes and will do all that I can to help them realize that they are here for a purpose. I will celebrate their victories and help them learn from their disappointments. Teaching is my superpower.”
KHS’ principal, Melissa George, marveled at Nurse’s talents. “Her passion for AVID, helping students and supporting teachers is unmatched,” she said. “She provides trainings for teachers, so they can effectively implement AVID strategies to support student learning. In a virtual setting, students are willing to tum their cameras on, engage in conversations and collaborate with their peers. This doesn’t just happen. Mrs. Nurse has established a learning environment, both virtually and in-person, where students feel safe and respected.”
Nurse has also served as Student Council Association adviser, class sponsor, cooperating teacher, AVID mentor, Partners in Education liaison, administrative intern, and a Principal’s Advisory Committee member. In 2019, she was instrumental in planning, coordinating, and overseeing the African American Male Summit at Kempsville High School. This successful event hosted several hundred middle and high school attendees and brought together students, educators, and community leaders to explore the theme of “destiny.” Nurse also helped students found the city’s first Black Student Union at Kempsville High School.
“No matter what Kim Nurse is involved in,” Principal George said, “she puts all her energy into making it the best experience. She is the KHS Energizer bunny!”
Nurse was selected as the 2022 VBCPS Citywide Teacher of the Year from an initial pool of 87 Teachers of the Year. The selection committee visited the classrooms of and interviewed five finalists to determine the citywide winner. The other finalists are Barbara Besal, a chemistry teacher at First Colonial High School; John Pienkowski, a science teacher at Brandon Middle School; Heather Riggs, an English as a second language teacher at the Adult Learning Center; and Laurie Yates, a landscape and turf management instructor at the Technical and Career Education Center.
Nurse will be honored officially Nov. 2, during the annual Teacher of the Year Dinner, hosted by the Virginia Beach Education Foundation and held at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. To learn more about this event and how you can be a part of supporting our teachers, visit www.vbef.org.