Inspiring students through example, love, and Harry Potter: Mountainside Elementary Teacher of the Year, Kim Turnbow


Kim Turnbow


Congratulations to Mountainside Elementary Teacher of the Year, Kim Turnbow! Turnbow loves to read and she’s passionate about teaching her students to have a love of reading. She demonstrates through example that it is okay to make mistakes as she strives to create an environment for her students to learn and grow.  


Turnbow studied early childhood special education and elementary education at Snow College and Utah State University. After graduating from USU, she taught for seven years at multiple elementary schools across the valley before taking a break to raise her children. She returned to her career seven years ago, teaching third grade at Mountainside Elementary, where she continues to teach today. 


Kim Turnbow


Turnbow enjoys working with third-grade students because they are transitioning from learning how to read to reading to learn. She knows that it is often a big jump for students, but she encourages them to make it fun by using their literacy to learn new things. For example, they read Harry Potter as a class and do activities to go along with the book. Turnbow, herself, loves Harry Potter, and she, along with her students, looks forward to coming back to school after Spring Break so that they can begin reading the book together as a class. 


Turnbow was inspired to become an educator by the example of her mother, who worked as an aide in a special education classroom. Turnbow’s passion for teaching is evident and her only rule in class is “Respect.” She teaches that it is okay to make mistakes, and since we all make mistakes, you shouldn’t make fun of other people when they do something wrong. Turnbow’s ability to lift her students and bring out the best in each of them makes her classroom a safe, nurturing environment to learn. 


Kim Turnbow and student


“I hope that my students feel comfortable here and they feel loved.” Turnbow explained. “If they know that I am here for them, then they will learn from what I do. Even if we have bad days, I want them to know that they can always come to me for help.”


Mountainside Elementary principal Cam Amott appreciates the ability that Turnbow has to connect with her students and find ways to motivate them individually. “Kim holds herself and her students to the highest standards,” Amott said. “She always knows exactly which assignments a student might be missing. This creates a culture of responsibility in her class. Kim also lifts the teachers around her with her positive attitude, creative ideas, and sense of humor. She is an exceptional educator and well-deserving of Mountainside’s Teacher of the Year award.”