Kim Harper, Bethlehem Area School District’s supervisor of literacy and humanities K-12, was named for her “diligent work to bring the best, most researched teaching strategies, curriculum and supports” to the district.
Her primary role is leading the district’s Reading by Grade 3 initiative, she said, which has successfully been implemented in the district’s 16 elementary schools. She’s been in the role since 2014.
“If you teach a kid to read, everything else has opened up for that student,” Harper said, adding that literacy is an equity issue with long-lasting effects. " … If you can’t read by the end of third grade, you have a greater likelihood of dropping out of high school, you have a greater likelihood of ending up in prison, you have a greater likelihood of having poor health outcomes. It’s so important; it’s the foundation for everything.”
Before her current role, Harper was a high school English teacher and then an assistant principal for curriculum and instruction, both in Bethlehem. She pointed to a network of other women in leadership roles supporting and mentoring her throughout her career, many of whom have become colleagues.