An educator, entrepreneur, businesswoman and mom, Kim has held a variety of roles within and around education. She was among the first recruits at Teach for America, teaching elementary school in Compton, Calif., during the Rodney King riots. She has worked for leading technology companies, launching Macromedia’s Flash 2004 product and running the launch of Facebook Marketplace. She even designed an early educational tablet as a graduate student in business and education at Stanford, years before the unveiling of the iPad.
The project: The iZone
Kim has dedicated her fellowship year to creating a system that cultivates and supports innovation in education. Her project has been the iZone, a movement to change the educational ecosystem in San Mateo county. Her goal is to create a “different future where teachers are honored, where students are heard, where parents matter, [and] where young people are connected globally and contributing to their world both during their young lives and throughout.” Kim has interviewed and collaborated with individuals from nearly every level of the educational system, from students and parents to superintendents and school boards. Her work has produced a number of insights and breakthroughs, both personal and professional. Most notably, she’s acquired a deeper understanding of the critical role student voice and personal experience play in any effort to change the educational system.
Since Kim started her fellowship work, the iZone has a core group of 10 people and an extended network of 35 and was awarded a three-year seed investment of $400k from Silicon Valley Community Foundation to create a Center for Learning Analytics—a central pillar of the work. San Mateo has created a fully-funded executive director position for the iZone, and is in the process of transforming its existing STEM center into a STEM and innovation center to drive much of the iZone’s work. Next year, they will expand to include stakeholders in the districts as well as in the surrounding community, including businesses and other non-governmental organizations.
Kim is a 2013-2014 EDUfellow and can be found at @kimjw.