Each year, Champions honors site directors who go above and beyond in creating a high quality before-and-after school environment. Quality Achievement Award Winner Kimberly Dobretsberger, who leads the Champions program at Klenk Elementary School in Houston, Texas, teaches her staff to stay positive and in doing so to help their children and families have a great experience at Champions every day. Learn more about Kimberly below.
What do you love most about your job?
I love coming into work and seeing all of the kids’ smiling faces and hearing them tell me about their day. There’s something about seeing a group of kids rushing over saying “Ms. Kim! Ms. Kim! I read this book today! I won an award today! I did this today!” that makes me excited and really pumped for the rest of the day.
What Service Value resonates most with you and why?
That would have to be communications. Sometimes the kids need you to just be a listener, but you also need to understand what’s going on in their lives at school and at home.
You also have to communicate with your parents. They only see their kids for a short time each day. It’s important to be able to give parents that comfort of knowing that even when they’re not able to be there someone’s working hard to support their kids.
What advice would you give to your colleagues?
I’m training to be a field coach so I have lots of advice for my colleagues! I think the biggest is to stay positive: It makes a good day for everyone. Sometimes kids come to our program and they’re tired or they’ve had a bad day. If you stay positive you can turn their day around and put them in a better mood by the time they go home.
I also tell my team to greet parents with a smile. They’ve worked all day and they’re tired, but when they come in, smile and tell them about their kid’s day – what they did, or something they achieved.