The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


Kim Zimmer Takes the Lead

Photo courtesy of Kim Zimmer
Kim Zimmer visits San Francisco on fall break 2023.

Kimberly Zimmer is taking on the role of enhancing technology at Aspen High School through her updated position as the co-director of learning and innovation.

Her previous position, as a tech integrator, entailed being a resource for teachers in using technology within their classroom which included everything from troubleshooting, to actually sitting in a meeting talking about upcoming units, or generally thinking about how technology can enhance each type of lesson.

Zimmer has taught primarily at the high school, with less involvement within the other two schools. This quickly changed when a new position as co-director of learning and innovation, created by superintendent David Baugh, opened up in order to fill Chris Durham’s previous role.

Throughout the beginning process of the new role, Zimmer explained they had, “one person as an instructional technologist (Kim Zimmer) and someone else, Jason Pfeifer, who has this IT background. So instead of hiring from the outside, our superintendent thought it would be cool to interview me and him and see if we could split the position with me being on the educational/instructional side and him being on the network/IT security side.”

This new position within the district’s technology department manages every subscription service such as EdPuzzle, Schoology, and any software application that uses a login through the school. Moreover, it involves the IT (information technology) aspects, such as the network directly, network security, and Google domain. This new position additionally covers the management of that software as well as the renewal and budget of these subscriptions so that teachers can access these tools.

“Everything we do with Google now, I am involved with such as blocked websites and things we do with our web filter,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer decided this opportunity would be a great promotion but still understood that there were many significant differences within the demands of this position. Specifically, the shift of going from her regular school schedule with particular days off, to being a year-round administrator.

“Being able to focus on high school for the last four years gave me a sense of balance and I knew I had a job to do and it was mostly here. I enjoyed going over to the middle/elementary school and I was allowed to do that in my former position but it wasn’t necessarily required unless we were working on a K12 technology initiative,” Zimmer explained.

Kim Zimmer is more involved than ever before throughout our school district, whether it means taking walkthroughs in each different school in order to assist students and teachers or being ‘behind the scenes’ in our software applications. Zimmer teaches broadcast journalism at the high school in the mornings and is more flexible toward the second half of the day, to pay bills/renew subscriptions on the administrative side of work, help whoever needs help across the three schools, or other issues related to technology.

“It is like grown-up work. It is very much like adulting. I have to be responsible for money and a budget now while fitting within the budget,” Zimmer teased.

Moving forward, Kim Zimmer hopes to progress both her line of technological work as well as making a positive impact on the school.

“I am starting to learn a lot about IT in this position because Jason and I are trying to teach each other about our jobs so that we aren’t a single point of failure meaning if something happened to him, I would know what his daily routines are and what he needs to do to keep our network up. He would know what subscriptions and software are really important to the district so he could help in that case. So we’re trying to cover our bases a lot more as a co-director role.”

Given this co-director role, alongside being a teacher herself, Zimmer is constantly involved within the classroom and recently on the administrative side of the spectrum, which may provide a positive input to decision-making.

“I think that having someone who actually teaches currently with boots on the ground in a classroom with students almost every morning really helps me understand teaching as an art form.” Zimmer further added, “I think that it is beneficial to put teachers in these roles because we emphasize more with teachers and students as well. I understand the reality of being in a classroom. One of my core values is that if I am going to be working in a school, I need to be doing the act of teaching in that school to sort of complement the other work I am doing because it is like shared efficacy.”

Zimmer has many goals moving forward in her role, ranging from topics like learning how to navigate AI, to helping students learn about technology and more.

Zimmer expresses she wants to tackle the topic of AI to, “learn how we leverage it as it becomes more ubiquitous. One of the more strategic things I am handling is to use AI in effective ways but not as a crutch for our learning.”

Within the classroom, she said wants to, “empower students to really know their digital footprint, what they are putting out on the web, and how distractions are affecting their learning during the school day.

Zimmer added, “Another goal for my job is involving our families in our use of technology and how we use it in order to be more transparent with the community in why we do this, that, or the other,” while the entirety of her goals are revolved around, “making sure students are safe, responsible, and that they are getting an education.”

To do this involves working around obstacles such as web browsers and phones in an environment where they are necessary for the majority of classroom work.

“It is really hard with all the distractions right now to keep people on task and make sure everyone is learning. We really put that on the students to actually manage that but it is a lot easier to say that we are ‘letting you manage yourselves’ than you actually managing yourselves,” Zimmer said.

Nevertheless, with all this work, Zimmer still hopes to stay outside and active throughout the campus.

“I’m in my office a little bit more but my goal is to not be in my office,” Zimmer said.

There are various obstacles and opportunities that Kim Zimmer is learning to navigate through taking on this new role as co-director of learning and innovation. Yet throughout it all, she knows her input will be important coming from the standpoint of a teacher, having her connection with students and previous knowledge in the technological field of work. This position as co-director can be beneficial to not only the growth in the technology of our school but also to continue to face topics in our district with various perspectives from the students and faculty.

Zimmer concludes, “It helps me stay in touch with the reality of being in a classroom and I think it is a really tough job that teachers have and I want to share that experience so that I can be a better administrator.”

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About the Contributor
Rylee Smith
Rylee Smith, News and Sports Editor
Rylee is a senior at Aspen High School and one of the Sports/News editors. This is her second year writing for the Skier Scribbler and she has appreciated the new lens of leadership which has helped her to grow in her own writing. In her free time, Rylee is spending time outside, basking in the sun during the summer, flying through the slopes during winter, and watching the sunsets in the evening. Moving forward, she looks forward to growing her faith in the Lord and spending time with her family/friends. 

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