Kim O’Connor was born Salinas, California and grew up in Cupertino in a family of six children. Kim’s parents believed in creating lifelong learners and cultured an atmosphere of learning about everything. They had animals, grew huge gardens and canned. There was always some kind of a science experiment going on like trying to make root beer, or make huge crocks of super sour pickles or build their own kayaks. Kim’s family did not own a television, so reading was greatly encouraged. They even read encyclopedias for fun.
It was this hands-on, engaging way of learning that Kim brought to her classroom, when she started teaching in the Alisal School District in Salinas. When Kim’s twins were born, she and her husband moved to Hollister and Kim began teaching in the Hollister School District. Most of Kim’s twenty-plus years of teaching were in bilingual or dual immersion classrooms.
Kim and her husband, Michael, raised their four children in the Hollister School District. They were parent volunteers on many different committees. Michael was the Rancho-Maze Band Booster president for eight years, as all of their children participated in marching band, drumline, concert band and jazz band. Kim led many different performing arts endeavors and school-wide sing-a-longs.
After more than twenty years in the classroom, Kim worked with the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project training new teachers in the Hollister School District. This was at a time when Hollister was growing exponentially and the demand for teachers was extremely high. Many of the new teachers were interns earning their credentials while teaching for the first time. Kim found working with the new teachers to be challenging but very rewarding. Many of her new teachers have gone on to become school district
leaders throughout the bay area.
Kim went into administration and served as the coordinator of special projects, managing state and federal categorical budgets for the Hollister School District and then managed Title I Part C grants for various districts in Santa Clara, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties under the umbrella of the Santa Clara County Office of Education.
Kim is looking forward to working with the Superintendent and other board members to make the Hollister School District be a wonderful place for students, parents and staff. A place where children are happy and absolutely love to learn.
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