Kristin Linholm, a 6th grade literacy and social studies teacher at Cimarron Middle School, has been selected as the 2016-2017 Edmond Teacher of the Year. Superintendent Bret Towne made the announcement during the Celebration of Excellence sponsored by the Edmond Public Schools Foundation on Tuesday, April 19, at Oak Tree Country Club.
“Kristin Linholm is a compassionate educator who works tirelessly to meet the needs of each and every one of her students, said Superintendent Bret Towne. “Her instruction is not only engaging, but challenging. She works well with her colleagues, serving as a partner and a mentor for many Cimarron Middle School staff members. She is a strong leader in her building and in our district.”
Linholm came from a family of teachers. Three of her grandparents were teachers. Her maternal grandmother, Georgia Kerley, was named Edmond Teacher of the Year in 1979. Linholm says she is thankful to have been guided by her grandmother’s example.
“When I entered her classroom, I always had to look around to locate her because she would be at her students’ level interacting with them, making their lessons come alive. Spending time in her classroom became life-changing for me as I knew that one day I wanted to have my own classroom.”
Linholm has been a teacher for 26 years. She joined Edmond Public Schools in 1990 and has taught at two elementary schools and three middle schools-most recently Cimarron Middle School. In addition to holding multiple teacher certifications, she has a master’s degree in counseling and served for four years as a counselor at Sequoyah Middle School.
“Kristin’s background as a school counselor plays a large role in her ability to differentiate her students both academically and emotionally,” said Cimarron Principal Cordell Ehrich. “She builds deep relationships with both her students and colleagues and in our building is considered a leader of leaders.”
In her teacher of the year portfolio, Linholm wrote that one of her greatest joys comes from teaching an intervention class for struggling readers. “I like to conference with the students individually each week so that I can assist them in setting a new weekly focus for their reading success,” she said. “I have found if areas are targeted and obtainable reading goals are set, students are more centered and intentional when working on the skills the following week. When positive gains are made by the individual readers, the whole class celebrates. These triumphs define success in action.”
Linholm was chosen by the district’s professional development committee after a comprehensive process that involved interviews as well as submission of a portfolio, a letter of recommendation and a video showcasing her teaching style and philosophy. The other finalists for EPS Teacher of the Year were Amy Fine from Sequoyah Middle School, Beth Stukey from Central Middle School, Johanna Belt from Chisholm Elementary, Robyn Hays from Frontier Elementary and Stephanie Reynolds from Centennial Elementary.
In addition to teaching, Linholm is an active member of the community. She serves as an elder and on various committees at Westminster Presbyterian Church. She is also deeply involved in the Edmond Autism Association and coordinated an autism support group for parents of children with autism.
As EPS’ Teacher of the Year, Linholm will now compete in the state Teacher of the Year competition facilitated by the Oklahoma Department of Education. The state Teacher of the Year will be announced in September.