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Dr. Barbra Kimzey smiles as she sits behind her deskDr. Barbra Kimzey has officially started her tenure as Superintendent of District 60.

“I have found a place to live in Pueblo, and I’m excited to be here,” she said. “And I want everyone to know that I will be out in the community, and I want them to feel like they can come in and talk to me.”

Superintendent Kimzey has found in Pueblo and District 60 the proper “fit” needed for success and growth.

“I knew I wanted to continue my forward trajectory in my career, but I also knew it had to be the right fit,” she explained. “Pueblo, and the diversity and the uniqueness of the community – the fact that it has a true work ethic – really appealed to me. People who are really focused on working hard in order to get you where you want to go resonates with me.

“I know I work best in a diverse community. And as I looked at the data, I felt this is a place where I can actually make a difference with my skill set.”

Although she has made education her life’s work, Superintendent Kimzey was pursing a Master’s degree in German when she discovered her true calling.

“I fell into it by accident,” she said. “A friend of mine was student teaching at a high school, and I went to watch her one day. And from that point on, I was hooked.”

Superintendent Kimzey quickly ended her German studies and began studying to become a licensed educator.

Her first position out of college reinforced the fact that she was on the correct career path.

“I started out teaching English to kids who were truly at risk, in a very small town on the Texas/Oklahoma border,” she said. “Kids that other people may have given up on, and who had been in and out of juvenile detention.

“And that was the defining experience of my career, because I knew that if I could reach even one of the kids, and make life better for them and move them forward, then this is what I was meant to do.

“And I was able to do that.”

As the wife of a military man, Superintendent Kimzey moved frequently, an opportunity that allowed her to experience a wide range of communities and cultures.

“I was able to see different perspectives every time we moved,” she said. “And that really gave me perspective and context I wouldn’t have had if I stayed in one place. It allowed me to become more innovative in my thinking, as far as ways to better reach kids and move students and programs forward.

“The appeal of education is that I love working with kids. I love being with them and seeing the spark in their eyes when they finally understand something they’ve been struggling with. My goal has always been to make school a better place for kids than it ever was for me.”

And to reach a broader range of students in order to impact more lives, Superintendent Kimzey saw administration as the key.

“In my second year as a classroom teacher in that small town on the Texas/Oklahoma border, my assistant principal sat down with me and said, ‘I see something in you. I think you should think about becoming an administrator.’

“But at that time, I didn’t think much about it. Years later, I thought to myself, ‘Maybe she’s right.’ Because I’ve always wanted to make schooling better for kids than it was for me. And when I was confronted with the bureaucracy as a young teacher, it was frustrating.

“I thought to myself, ‘There must be something I can do about this.’ So in order to change things, I knew I would have to move forward.”

After earning a Master’s degree, Superintendent Kimzey taught for a year in Virginia before being promoted to assistant principal.

“And I worked my way up from there,” she said.

In 2019, Superintendent Kimzey earned her doctorate degree.

In her career, Superintendent Kimzey has served as a principal and assistant principal, with years in instructional, leadership and volunteer roles in Texas, North Carolina, and Virginia.

“My experience has really built me,” she said. “If I had to describe my strengths, I’d say collaborative, persevering, determined. I’m one of those persons who loves a challenge. I never quit. And I love to try new things. I like to think about possibilities and solving complex problems by bouncing ideas off others.”

As far as her first-year goals, Superintendent Kimzey will make it a point to become a familiar face in all District schools and buildings.

“I want to get out to every site, every school, and get to know what we are about,” she said. “I really want to get to know, intimately, every school’s climate and culture, what they are most proud of and where they are going. And that includes the staff, the students, and families.

“I also want to reach out to our partners in higher education, government, and business and really start getting to know all of them while building strong partnerships.”

Superintendent Kimzey also plans to survey District-wide data in order to identify both strengths and challenges.

“Then it’s a matter of pulling that together in alignment with our strategic plan, in order to really move forward at a significant pace,” she said.