Let me set your minds to rest – Kim Boldon can be trusted with the hearts and minds of every student at Wootton, especially those most in need of support, students with special educational needs at either end of the spectrum, and students of color.
Boldon started her career teaching English at Roosevelt High School in Prince George’s County. She moved to Wootton, where she worked for Dr. Doran, and then left, against his wishes, to work in the International Baccalaureate program at Richard Montgomery High School. A few years later, when Wootton needed a new English department resource teacher, Doran begged Boldon to take the job, and she did. After one year, she interviewed me for an English position. I was so impressed with Boldon during my interview that I asked if I could hug her. Her intelligence, her commitment to students and to the teachers who worked for her, and her warmth and kindness made me want to work for and with her. As my boss, she guided me to be a better educator, and I think a better human being. Watching her gentle push of the department to be better was inspiring and motivating.
After a few years, Doran pressed Boldon into service again, this time as one of his assistant principals. Watching her take on that new and bigger role once again inspired me. Doran was so impressed by her that he designated her as his emergency replacement, something all principals in MCPS are required to have.
When that emergency occurred, and Dr. Doran died suddenly and unexpectedly just a week before school began last summer, Boldon stepped into the role, despite her own grief at the loss of her friend and mentor. She provided emotional support for the faculty and led us to begin and carry on a seamless school year. When the Board of Education named her the official principal in May, my colleagues and I watched the proceedings online and cheered and danced in the hallways.
Kim Boldon, in just one school year as acting principal, looked at our already strong school and identified populations that aren’t having as picture-perfect an experience as some other groups. She created study circles of administrators, teachers and students to look at how students of color do not feel valued. She’s working to make it right. She looked at data on student grades and test scores and identified achievement gaps, charging every adult in the building with making it right. She is simply committed to making right whatever needs fixing.
Boldon may not have the chatty, big personality of Dr. Michael Doran, but she is who he chose, and she’s who the Board of Education chose, as the person Wootton needs to move forward. Every time someone asks me what I think of her, I tell them this: if she needed me to, I’d lay down and let her walk across my body. The best thing I can say is that she is always, always kind. I trust her with my career, with my own children, and with the soul of Wootton High School. So should you.