“Kim is a passionate, thoughtful, and collaborative leader,” said Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy, adding, “She truly demonstrates the belief and leadership practices that all children can learn, and she strongly believes in community and family partnerships that lead to increasing student engagement and meeting the needs of the whole child.”
Asked how she felt about the honor, Graves said, “I’m feeling a tremendous amount of humility for being recognized for something that we all do and I’m taken back by that recognition. I was happy for the Hoffman-Boston community to be recognized in this way. I was very proud.”
Graves holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from George Mason University. She also holds certification in K-12 supervision and administration and in social studies.
Graves has 20 years of experience as an educator and instructional leader. She has served as a high school social studies teacher, a middle school assistant principal, a high school executive associate principal, and, for the last 10 years, an elementary school principal. Since 2012, she has served as principal of Hoffman-Boston. Under her leadership, she has brought high-quality instructional programs and practices to Hoffman-Boston, which have led to the school receiving the Virginia Distinguished Award of Excellence for the first time in the school’s history.
Graves has led the charge to transform the school culture and climate into one of excellence and high expectations, combined with love and compassion. “Kim worked assiduously to transform Hoffman-Boston from more than a decade of being listed as a school ‘in improvement’ by the state, to today’s high-achieving school status. This achievement came with great dedication, passion and, at times, personal sacrifices,” said Assistant Principal Carmen De La Cruz Scales.
“I look at them as opportunities for growth rather than challenges. The light was already there in that community and I was able to bring that light out for everyone to see,” said Graves. “One of the opportunities for growth was bringing the community together as one. Having us focus around what’s most important and that is making certain that students are performing at the very highest level and that the are being nurtured and supported in every possible way.
During her stay at the school, Graves has worked with the staff to survey their needs and provide them with tools to refine their skills and knowledge so that they are best prepared to serve students. As part of this work, she developed a comprehensive strategic plan to specifically address academic areas of deficiencies, revamped programs, identified added ways to support staff, and focused on increasing the morale of the school.
In addition to leading a swift turnaround in student reading and math proficiency, Graves is the personification of a caring and professional educator. She learns every student’s name and greets children warmly. She develops positive relationships with families and advocates for a high-quality education for each child.
“Kim does not hesitate to talk to a student, meet with a concerned parent, or even drive a student home if they have missed the bus. Her demeanor with all students and families is consistently respectful, warm, and positive, which greatly impacts the culture and climate of the entire school,” said reading teacher Mary Ruth Findlay.
In March, Graves was appointed by the School Board to be the new principal of Drew Model as it transitions to a new neighborhood school in 2019.
Graves will be recognized by the Arlington School Board along with the 2018 Teacher of the Year and Support Employees of the Year on Tue, May 8, at Washington-Lee High School.