Updated: Jun 30
Meet Kimberly Perry!
Kimberly Perry is a wife, mother, and former midwestern girl that is living the Southern dream. As a former public educator that transitioned into educational technology, Kimberly has established a name for herself as a subject-matter expert throughout the industry over the last 14 years. Her passion for education led her to write an early literacy blog and publish her first research-based children's book. At just 35 years old, Kimberly has identified and crafted her true passion and ran with it to see where she lands next!
Today, I had the opportunity to sit down with Kim to find out how she leads well in her career and life.
Hi Kim, please kick things off by introducing yourself and your story. Where are you from? Where do you live? What do you do?
I am originally from the Chicagoland area, but I now live in South Carolina with my husband and two daughters. I was a teacher for 11 years before taking the leap into Educational Technology, which is what I do now. My deep-rooted passion for education led me to write my blog, “The Magic of Reading,” which is intended for parents to better understand the early literacy phase of learning. Writing the blog gave me the “itch” to pursue another dream of mine, which was to write a children’s book, so I did! I am releasing Finley the Fairy in August 2023!
I've noticed the older I get, the more important it is to start my day off right. What's your morning routine? How do you get your day started?
With a 5 and 6-year-old, my morning routine is pretty much chaos until about 8:30 AM. I am packing lunches, dragging little ones out of bed, brushing teeth, doing hair, making breakfast, carpooling, and trying to get a workout in before I log in for work.
What inspired or inspires you to do the work you do?
My passion has always been in education and although I am not teaching in the classroom anymore, everything I do is to positively impact learning for our children. Whether it’s teaching, consulting, and coaching school districts, writing my blog, or writing children’s books, I am all in when it comes to doing what is best for kids (and teachers)!
“There are no failures–just experiences and your reactions to them.” —Tom Krause
How has a failure, or perceived failure, set you up for later success?
I feel like I’ve been underestimated quite a bit in my professional endeavors, which has always been a driving force for me. I am definitely a “go-getter” so when I have an idea or a vision, I am going for it, regardless of what others may think. I’ve also had to work really hard for my successes; nothing has “come easy” for me and I take a lot of pride in the fact that I have quite literally paved my own path.
You are a leader. Whether in your home or in your career, you mobilize, organize, create and nurture bonds, and facilitate harmony. As a leader, how do you take care of your well-being (specifically emotional, physical, social, and mental)?
Once I had my two daughters, finding time to fulfill myself, outside of motherhood and my career, was really challenging. I have a love-hate relationship with working out, but it really does make me feel better and helps a great deal with managing anxiety and stress
Do you consider yourself to be a creative leader? If so, why? If not, what kind of leader do you identify with most? Or are you a combination of a few types? (traditional, creative, servant-leader, strategic, etc.)
I would consider myself a creative leader, but I am also very strategic before making any major decisions. The thoughts and ideas that I bring to my team are creative and sometimes “outside of the box,” but I deeply analyze my decisions by considering all possibilities (good and bad) and then I make sure I am prepared for all possible results. Not all my ideas are good ideas, but I always celebrate opportunities to learn from others.
It's important to invest in your personal development and growth. Healing and growth are essential to being an effective leader. Do you agree? Why or why not?
I don’t think you can be static and be an effective leader. We are always learning, regardless of what phase of life we are in. Every failure or success can only benefit us when it comes to making future decisions and I think it’s super humbling to say, “I don’t know it all and I am still learning too.”
How do you stay balanced? Are you able to maintain a work-life balance or is that a challenge for you?
If you ask my husband, he will say I love to “pile it on.” and in many ways he is right. Maybe it’s a shortcoming of mine, but I do tend to always have a lot on my plate (by choice). I love to be challenged, I love to be pushed and I love to feel accomplished, but I also love to sit on the couch and binge-watch TV shows too. I don’t know if I have all the answers when it comes to balancing things, but I recognize when I need a time out and I don’t feel guilty doing it.
What are your favorite resources for self-development (books, podcasts, people, apps, etc)?
People! I love to network and learn from other successful women. I think a lot of the time people feel uncomfortable sharing their success with others, but I think it’s so powerful when women can combine their know-how to support one another.
I'm a quote junkie! What is your favorite quote?
“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” ― Erin Hanson, an Australian poet
What can people expect from you next?
I don’t know quite yet, and I think that’s what makes life magic! I hope to be writing more children’s books and continue to make a positive impact on education.