MATTHEWS – Twenty years after Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools recognized Kimberly Tuttle as New Teacher of the Year, the district is again recognizing her work in the classroom. This time, she’s been named CMS Teacher of the Year.
Throughout her career, Tuttle has drawn inspiration from teachers and principals that have helped her understand the essence of teaching the whole child.
“When you teach the whole child, you’re not just teaching the content, the standards, the objectives, the state test – that comes along with it – but you’re teaching those valuable skills of (being) a citizen,” Tuttle said.
Tuttle teaches Advanced Placement language and composition, as well as 11th grade honors English at Levine Middle College High School, where students can graduate with a diploma and associate degree.
She works to create a safe haven for students in her classroom so they feel comfortable enough to talk to her before school or during lunch. Such interactions go a long way.
“So many times kids feel as though their voice does not matter,” Tuttle said. “We see and hear that from our kids today. One of the things that they know once you step foot in Mrs. Tuttle’s classroom, you’re not my student. You are my child.”
That philosophy has helped Tuttle strive to give students her very best.
She also strives to find ways to build literacy for life.
One of the greatest gifts she was able to give students was taking them on a field trip to Germany. Lessons came alive as students put their hands on the very barracks where author Ellie Wiesel laid. They also visited the site of the Berlin Wall, where President Ronald Reagan famously said, “Tear down this wall.”
“Our children need us to be there for them and their voice does matter,” she said.
Tuttle was one of six finalists for CMS Teacher of the Year. Others are Tyler Erb, Community House Middle; Precious Kotte, Metro School; Cherelle Phelps, West Charlotte High; Nancy Pursley, Huntersville Elementary; and Alicianna Smith, Stoney Creek Elementary.
“Our students are what matter most,” CMS Chief Academic Officer Brian Kingsley said. “These six teachers have a deep and demonstrated investment in our mission in public education to teach every student who comes to us no matter what.”