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Simpson teacher Kimberly Poole nominated for teacher of the year award

During a yearbook meeting earlier this year, J. Lupton Simpson Middle School Introduction to Computer Applications teacher and yearbook adviser Kimberly Poole received flowers and an unexpected announcement: she had been selected as Simpson’s nominee for Teacher of the Year. 

The award for Teacher of the year, organized by both the County and The Washington Post, was a huge surprise for Poole. “I knew it existed, but I had no idea I was going to be asked.” Poole says her words upon learning of the nomination were “I am not worthy” and “thank you.”

Simpson teacher Kimberly Poole poses in front of her classroom door on December 20, 2023. Poole was nominated for Loudoun County’s teacher of the year award a few weeks prior. (William Kluttz)

“I just do this because I love kids, and they’re fun, and it’s an amazing thing,” Poole said, gesturing to her room full of students.

Poole spent the first 25 years of her teaching career teaching English, before starting to teach ICA, or Introduction to Computer Applications, four years ago. All of those years have been spent at Simpson Middle School.

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ICA is the revamped equivalent of Keyboarding. One of the new components of the class is involvement with the Amazon Think Big Space program. Renovations to the old Tech-Ed rooms provided a space that is the headquarters of the program in Loudoun County. 

The process that saw Poole becoming nominated began with students and parents submitting forms voting for who their favorite teacher was and why, and Poole came out on top. Some of the responses “made me cry,” according to Poole. The entire school leadership team along with many teachers and students cast their votes for Poole. She added that she received responses from students she had taught nearly 20 years ago, and that the number of people who voted for her were in the hundreds.

Poole was amazed by the things students remembered, even from years ago. “Some things that people wrote down that I would not have expected that would have made an impact or be something that someone remembered. And little things,” Poole said, noting that one student wrote: “one day my water bottle broke and Mrs. Poole gave me her very own Deer Park water bottle.”

“It was things like that that were really cute,” Poole said.

After her first class ended, and after her nomination. Poole spent several minutes walking around the sixth grade area greeted by almost every student in the halls. Many students were very appreciative of Poole’s work in teaching. “Ms. Poole is awesome. She’s a really great teacher,” sixth grader Ryan McElhannon said.

One of many posters thanking Poole for her contributions to the school and students’ lives. (Scarlett Segersten)

Other students agreed. “She’s the best. She’s one of my favorites,” sixth grader Cassie said.

Simpson principal Tripp Di Nicola, assistant principal Jarrod Dungan, and assistant principal Kjersti Oliver were all present during the yearbook meeting to surprise Poole with the nomination. “Mrs. Poole’s heartfelt dedication to the Simpson community extends back thirty years and represents a continuously immense impact on so many students both present, past, and future that is truly unmatched by many in our profession. She is quite simply stated one of the greatest teachers in Loudoun County Public Schools,” Di Nicola said.

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About the Contributor
William Kluttz, staff writer
William Kluttz is a Junior in his second year writing for The County Chronicle. He enjoys doing Man-on-the-street articles and sports pieces.

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