September Featured Educator – Jill Kimball

Jill Kimball

MassCUE announces Jill Kimball as our Featured Educator for September 2022!

Sharing different perspectives means there is always something new to learn. That’s how Jill Kimball has approached the many different roles she has held working with English language learners here in Massachusetts and beyond. Her work as a classroom teacher, coach, administrator and member of several statewide committees for English learners embodies her educational philosophy to “effectively serve multilingual learners in educational opportunity and excellence while empowering students through proficiency in English.” Kimball is stepping into a new role this Fall as English Language Coordinator and Educator for Walpole Public Schools after most recently serving as an English Language Development Coach in Framingham. She points to her experiences in different districts with students from different backgrounds as a source of inspiration for her work.

“I learn just as much from the students as they do from me, which drives my passion for working with multilingual learners,” says Kimball. “Everyone has a new and different perspective to share. Learning from people using different languages and coming in with new and different perspectives – I love that about the profession.”

Kimball has worked with English language learners from preschool through adult learners. As an English language educator, she’s taught language proficiency skills through multiple communication modes, as well as the functional use of language within language development standards. As a language development coach, she has partnered with teachers to promote learning outcomes for emergent multilingual students using data to drive decision-making. As an English language program coordinator, she has organized all aspects of English language programming in collaboration with district stakeholders. Throughout her career, she says collaboration and networking have been key.

“Projects that I have accomplished over the years have all benefited from collaborating and networking with others in similar roles,” Kimball says. “Working with others who are also working on similar projects allows a platform for sharing ideas and tips that ultimately benefit all of the multilingual students and families that we serve.”

Kimball has served on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) English Language Learner/Bilingual Education Advisory Council, as well as participated as a member of the Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL) and the Massachusetts English Learner Leadership Council (MELLC). She has also instructed the Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) teacher and administrator endorsement courses for multiple educational institutions and associations. 

“I welcomed the opportunity to educate others about multilingual learner education through SEI programming,” says Kimball. “My role in this work not only benefits the participants in learning about sheltered English instruction but also affords me the opportunity to learn from so many others across all fields of education. It has been a privilege to collaborate with so many distinguished educators and administrators.”

While working in the Hopkinton Public Schools, she worked to bring the Seal of Biliteracy to the district, which she learned about through the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) Act. This prestigious award recognizes and celebrates students who attain high levels of academic proficiency in English and an additional world language. Kimball worked with a committee to plan and implement the required assessments and a ceremony for the students at graduation.

“I do think that it is a great award to really highlight not only the benefits of multilingualism but all of the accomplishments of multilingual students in the district,” says Kimball. “I would highly recommend that districts look to bring it to celebrate and recognize students who are multilingual in Massachusetts schools.

Kimball’s favorite technology tools include Trello and Ellevation. She says technology has been immensely helpful in her productivity as a coach and coordinator.

“As a coach, being able to use programs that allow multiple educators from different fields to work collaboratively on a lesson is so beneficial in creating lessons that benefit the needs of learners in all classrooms,” Kimball says. “As a coordinator, project management tools keep me on task and on time.”

Throughout her career, Kimball has managed that rare balance between master classroom teacher and administrative leadership in a variety of state-level committees and initiatives.

“I do try to take advantage of every opportunity that is available,” says Kimball. “My advice to other educators would be to never stop learning. I think there’s always something new to learn and there’s always someone new to learn from.”

Jill Kimball has been an educator for 23 years. She has administrative, leadership, coaching and teaching experience with preschool through adult learners, in a variety of educational settings, from urban to rural. Over the years, she has moved with her family to other states and has held similar positions in districts around the country. In Massachusetts, she has served students and families in the public schools of Wrentham, Needham, Hopkinton, Framingham, and Walpole, as well as educators in eastern Massachusetts, through her roles as Spanish Language Educator, English Language Educator & Coordinator, English Language Development Coach, and RETELL SEI Teacher & Administrator Endorsement Course Instructor.

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