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Local art teacher recognized as the 2022 Connecticut Teacher of the Year

A Mansfield art teacher got a huge surprise Thursday morning when the governor and state education commissioner announced that she was named Connecticut’s 2022 Teacher of the Year.

Kim King has been teaching art at Mansfield Public Schools for the past six years and uses art to help nurture and educate her students. After she was told about the state’s recognition of her work, educators, students and community members gathered for an assembly to celebrate the milestone.

Humbled by the decision, King said she’s grateful for all those involved in keeping creativity alive for students in the classroom and beyond school walls.

“This year I hope to celebrate creativity and education,” King said. “I believe there is transformative power in creativity; we have the power to increase engagement, access and agency for all of our students, inclusive of ability, identity or experience.”

King gave thanks to her supporters and said creativity not only validates different ways of thinking, but it also can be found in all the work that educators do.

“It is this creative thinking and problem-solving that helped us teach and reach students through a pandemic and continues to inspire our next generation of leaders,” said King.

The state’s teacher of the year is decided by the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council, a group of former recipients and representatives from educational organizations, businesses and the community.

King now becomes Connecticut’s representative for the 2022 National Teacher of the Year. She succeeds Rochelle Brown, a kindergarten teacher from Poquonock School in Windsor.

Catherine Shen is a Connecticut Public’s education reporter. The Los Angeles native comes to CT Public after a decade of print and digital reporting across the country.