“Carpe Diem! Seize the day and love it!” -- Kim Sorensen, Mountain Crest Teacher of the Year
Kim Sorensen, Mountain Crest Teacher of the Year, lives by the motto “Carpe Diem! Seize the day and love it!” She shares this enthusiasm with all of her students and it is this love of life that motivates her and makes her an effective and successful educator. Sorensen believes that her students have incredible potential and if they work on having a growth mindset, they will change the world.
Sorensen prepared for her career as an educator by earning a Bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Spanish, and a Master of Education degree in Instructional Leadership from Utah State University. She was also trained at Boys Town, a school in Omaha Nebraska with a successful track record in turning around troubled youth. At Boys Town, Sorensen helped students acquire social skills that curb behavioral issues which might otherwise prevent them from progressing academically. This method of helping students succeed is something she continues to use to this day.
Sorensen’s journey as an educator in our district first took her to Cedar Ridge Middle School, where she worked as an English, Reading, and Math teacher. She was also a coordinator for Achievement Plus, a program for at-risk students who did not qualify for Special Ed. Next, Sorensen worked at Summit Elementary as a writing analyst, where she enjoyed helping 5th-grade teachers find ways to increase the writing skills of their students. Eventually, she moved on to the North Cache 8/9 Center teaching English and Spanish, where she was also the Student Council Advisor training future leaders.
Sorensen is currently the Foreign Language Department Chair at Mountain Crest High School, where she also teaches English and Spanish. She loves teaching foreign language and culture. “Seeing students become aware of another culture and language is so exciting!” She said. “We are a worldwide community and this pandemic is drawing the world together in many ways. I hope my online course draws in elements to see the world as a smaller place, helping students feel connected in some way to other countries.”
Mountain Crest principal Teri Cutler has witnessed firsthand the ability that Sorensen has to inspire students, as well as her fellow teachers. “She loves helping students connect with each other and with other places around the world,” Cutler said. “She is passionate about helping them learn to be positive leaders. One way she does this is through coordinating the Freshmen Mentoring Program. In addition to working well with her amazing Professional Learning Community team at MCHS, Kim enjoys working with language teachers throughout the district on alignment for common assessments for all world languages taught.”
Now that classes are online, Sorensen misses seeing her students in person every day, but she has used this time in quarantine to focus on the positive, to create online resources to use for years to come, and to try to share her enthusiasm for language online. She believes that as we come together through technology, we will be able to succeed during these trying times.
“Public Education is so much more than academics,” she said. “It is about learning to live together and build a sense of community, accept and celebrate differences, and unify in common causes. Right now, we are unifying in a common cause to stay healthy by not being unified physically. We are learning to connect and unify with technology! It has been quite a bumpy road, but we are doing it! Utahns are good at using bumpy dirt roads to lead to good things!”