Teacher of the Year

Congratulations Kimberly Hellerich!

2021 Semi-Finalist
East Windsor High School, East Windsor

Learn More About Kimberly

Kimberly D. Hellerich, Ed.D. has been an educator for the past 24 years. Dr. Hellerich earned her Bachelor of Science in English and Master of Arts in English Education from the University of Connecticut. She received a Sixth Year Diploma in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University and was honored with the 2005 Student Award for Excellence in Practice. After teaching for a decade, Dr. Hellerich then served as an administrator at East Windsor Middle School in Connecticut for 11 years.

In 2018, Dr. Hellerich returned to her first passion of teaching English as she pursued her Doctorate of Education in K-12 Leadership from New England College. At East Windsor High School, she incorporated a student-led participatory action research project to gauge students’ perceptions of effective teaching strategies. Dr. Hellerich and the student researchers co-authored a paper to articulate student perceptions of effective strategies. The co-authored paper can be viewed at www.reframinginstruction.com. Honored as the 2021 East Windsor District Teacher of the Year, Dr. Hellerich was also selected as a 2021 Connecticut State Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist.  

Dr. Hellerich’s doctoral research study examined relationships between social support during adolescence and resilience in trauma-affected adults. She believes trauma-invested instructional strategies that benefit all learners, such as relationship-building, developing students’ competence, utilizing community circles, and offering brain breaks. She has provided district-wide professional development on trauma-sensitive strategies to East Windsor paraprofessionals. In 2018, she provided a half-day workshop entitled, “Trauma Sensitive Strategies—For All Learners.”  Her article, “The New Rites of Passage: Regulation and Relationships” was published in 2021. Dr. Hellerich’s use of these strategies has also been featured in Edutopia: “Trauma Informed Classroom Strategies” and “Relationship Building: Remote or Real-Time.”

Several conference presentations highlight Dr. Hellerich’s use of instructional strategies, including “Beyond Hearing: Listening to Students’ Voices through Anonymous Surveys” and “Growth Mindset and Regulation: Ready-Made Strategies for Any Instructional Setting,” delivered to the Connecticut RESC Alliance Virtual Learning Institute. She is scheduled to present “Implementing Trauma-Invested Strategies: Simple, Successful, and De-Stressing” at the Association of Middle Level Educators’ 2020 Annual Conference. Dr. Hellerich showcased instructional strategies used in her classroom at a 2019 Higher Education Assessment Conference and has been invited to present again in 2021. She also showcased her instructional strategies while presenting at the World Future Forum in 2021.

At New England College as a part-time lecturer, Dr. Hellerich developed online graduate K-12 education courses such as: Trauma-Informed Leadership; Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies; and Teaching with an ‘Equity Lens’. Teaching these courses allows Dr. Hellerich to impact many students’ educational experiences by sharing her understanding of trauma-informed, SEL, equity-focused, and culturally responsive teaching strategies with future educators. More of Dr. Hellerich’s experiences can be found at www.reframinginstruction.com.

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