Kim Moreland Timmerman ’98 spent her first year in college at the University of Northern Iowa, expecting to become a speech pathologist.
So how did she get from there to become the principal at Adel DeSoto Minburn (ADM) Middle School?
The short answer: Simpson College. But the long answer is more interesting.
That first year at UNI did not go well, she says. Timmerman was homesick, and let’s just say her roommate did not spend most of her time studying.
“My aunt and uncle had both graduated from Simpson, and they told my Dad to take a tour, and I loved it right away.
“It felt like home,” she adds. “It was comfortable. People just greeted me with enthusiasm. Coming from a small school (in Audubon), I thought if I came to Simpson I could still really be involved.”
After transferring to Simpson, she decided to focus her studies on communications and journalism. But it wasn’t long before being an educator called out to her.
“My Dad was on the school board in Audubon for many years,” she says. “He was definitely the person who encouraged me to get into public education.”
Timmerman says her experiences taking public speaking courses at Simpson and writing for the Simpsonian provided skills she still relies on today.
Simpson promotes itself as a place that will help students discover their career interests, as well as a College where professors take an active role in their students’ success.
Timmerman can vouch for both.
She says her advisor, Steve Rose, a professor of education, visited her nearly every week when she was student teaching at McCombs Middle School in Des Moines.
“He didn’t have to come that much, but we had developed such a connection,” she says. “I think that spoke loudly to me about the value of doing a really good job as a student-teacher.”
Timmerman also had time to get involved in a number of campus activities, including the Religious Life Community, where she and a group of Simpson students sang at surrounding churches.
“My faith really grew at Simpson,” she says. “A ton.”
She also joined a sorority, “which I never ever ever thought I would do. I had a bunch of friends who talked me into that.”
After graduating from Simpson in December 1998, Timmerman’s career took her to Villisca, Lincoln High School in Des Moines and then ADM, where she just finished her 12th year.
“I love it,” she says. “Every single student is just crazy, and I think I fit right in. I laugh. I have fun. I love middle school. They’re still excited, yet it’s not too kiddish.”
Timmerman returned to Simpson recently to talk to education majors about how to interview for teaching jobs.
“I’ve hired some Simpson grads, and they’re so well-educated and well-rounded people,” she says.
She also makes certain to spread the word about Simpson to high school students.
“The size of Simpson is a really good size for students coming out of a school our size, because our students at ADM are really involved and they expect their teachers to know them really, really well,” she says. “They would have that same experience at Simpson.”
It won’t be long before Timmerman can start recruiting future Simpson students at home. She and her husband, David, live in Earlham and are raising four children, ages 3, 5, 7 and 9.