Veteran teacher still finds joy in building relationships


Maya Ortiz

Senior Trent Burningham talks to coach Kimberly Ackerman after his race. He earned a bronze medal at the state track & field championships in the 800 meters last year.

Krisslyn Boyles, Special contributor

Kim Ackerman has been teaching for 38 years, and she loves motivating others.

“This is what I was born to do,” Ackerman said.

Ackerman has been described as always bringing energy and being positive.

“I mean her nickname is Mama Ack,” said junior Eva Abshire, who is also Ackerman’s niece. “She is like the mom of KPARK.”

Ackerman has been teaching at Kingwood Park for 16 years and has been living in Kingwood for 51 years. Currently, She coaches boy’s cross country, track and is teaching P.E, Teen Leadership and Principles of Education. Also, she sponsors the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a club she has sponsored since 1985.

“It is a service for me, I feel like it is what I am supposed to do,” Ackerman said.

Co-workers have seen her passion for teaching over the years. She used to coach girls soccer with coach Jess White.
“She is consistent and believes in people,” White said.

Ackerman has built so many personal relationships with her students and has grown closer to her niece. Last year, Abshire transferred to Kingwood Park and was glad to have a familiar face at school, especially to someone who was so caring and energetic.

In high school, Ackerman ran cross country and track. Additionally, she was also a lifeguard at the Trailwood pool and taught swim lessons. That’s when she fell in love with teaching. Later in college, she also found out she wanted to coach as well.

For kids interested in becoming a coach or teacher, she suggests taking Principles of Education. She added babysitting would even help you find out if you really want to be a teacher.

“Before committing to teaching and coaching, try it out first,” Ackerman said. “You need to have patience and be resilient.”

Ackerman does not plan on retiring soon, but she also wants to be a part of her grandkids’ lives. Even after she retires, she will probably still substitute teach.

“I love building relationships,” Ackerman said.