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Getting to know our teachers: Kim Wankum

-Submitted photo
Fort Dodge Senior High vocal music teacher Kim Wankum works with a group of students.

Name?

Kim Wankum

Where do you teach?

Fort Dodge Senior High

What grade/subject do you teach?

9th-12th Vocal Music

Why do you teach?

I was fortunate to have excellent music teachers throughout my K-12 and college education. Those instructors instilled a love of music in me that I hope to pass on to my students each year. I love watching my students tackle a challenging piece of music and observing their growth while learning the musical elements that make up that song.

What is your favorite part of the school day?

Creating music with my students! I love seeing their passion for music grow whether in full ensemble rehearsals, individual lessons, or in small group rehearsals.

What are you working hardest on right now?

My students and I are working on making sure that they are literate musicians, meaning that they can read music (not just follow the words on the page) and create expressive, artistic musical moments within each piece of music. Both of my choirs are currently learning a new song on Solfege syllables.

What are you most proud of as a teacher?

My students! Each year is a new adventure for us. They learn new music and techniques for each concert, but also many other skills such as: teamwork, responsibility, self-motivation/discipline, and analysis/evaluation skills. I am proud of their growth and accomplishments throughout the year.

What makes you the happiest as a teacher?

Seeing students achieve their goals (musical and otherwise) makes me the happiest. Our students are extremely busy and pulled in a million different directions on a daily basis. They amaze me with their commitment to better themselves, our school, and our community.

How do you contribute to/how are you involved in our community outside of school?

I support several community organizations, attend events for my students, and explore opportunities and activities offered in our community.

What are your interests/hobbies outside of school?

I LOVE spending time with my nephews, Keegan and Cooper. I also enjoy reading, baking/cooking, knitting, and traveling.

What do you wish your students/families knew about you?

I hope that my students and their families know that I care about ALL of our FDSH students and want the best for them. I enjoy meeting students and learning about their lives, whether that takes place in my classroom or even if it’s only for a few minutes while monitoring the hallway during a lunch shift.

What does Together We Rise mean to you?

In order to achieve success at FDSH, it takes ALL of us: students, families, community members, teachers, administrators, and support staff working together. Ultimately we are preparing our students to be lifelong positive members of society. It takes a village, and we cannot do it alone.