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Kim Krome, Bob Jones ‘Teacher of the Year,’ says ‘my kids’ (students) keep her focused

MADISON – Kim Krome’s classes are difficult because of challenging material so she tries to reduce stress for students. Kromes is 2021 “Teacher of the Year” at Bob Jones High School.

“I try to keep my classroom relaxed and fun, so students enjoy being there, even though the curriculum is tough,” Krome said. She teaches three advanced-placement physics classes and Principles of Engineering.

Krome first taught astronomy and introductory engineering at James Clemens High School in 2017. She formerly worked as an engineer at NASA for seven years but ‘retired’ to raise her children, working periodically as a consultant.

“After that 17-year break, I went back to work as an engineer (contractor to NASA) and decided to follow my heart and apply for a teaching position,” Krome said.

Krome sponsors Interact Club and Physics Club and previously sponsored boys’ soccer.

“As I imagine will be true for all nominees, I love, love, love this job! I’ve always known that my students were amazing and have loved being around them,” Krome said.

COVID-19 forced a fully virtual semester and complete redesigns of lesson plans for Principles of Engineering, including at-home, hands-on projects for students. Applying each units’ concepts, students delivered projects using Google Slides and presentations with Screencast.

“It was a great success,” Krome said. “I was repeatedly impressed with my students’ designs using items (at) home, like straw bridges, Rube Goldberg machines and projectile launchers. I’ll continue to use these lesson plans, because they worked so well, and the kids had fun (and) developed communications skills.”

“My dad was military, so I grew up everywhere from Boise, Idaho to Athens, Greece,” Krome said. She graduated from high school in Woodbridge, Va. Krome earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn University and teaching certification through Athens State University.

Her pastimes are water and snow skiing, outdoors activities, cooking and working out.

Her children are Sophia Krome Garcia, a graduate of Bob Jones and University of Alabama in Huntsville College of Nursing in 2020. Married to Federico Garcia, Sophia is a trauma-certified nurse in Huntsville Hospital ER. Celia Krome graduated from Bob Jones in 2018 and is studying building science at Auburn. Rett Krome, a Bob Jones senior, plans to attend Auburn and major in broadcast journalism specializing in sports. Rett is active in theatre, Green Power and church worship band (He plays bass, guitar and piano.).

“My spouse was Mark Krome. He was an engineer working SLS at NASA. He passed away unexpectedly in January,” Kim said.

“This year, after my husband died, (my students) found so many ways to reach out to me and make sure that I was OK,” Kim said. “There were gifts, sweet notes, big hugs and grace when I wasn’t having my best day.”

One week after Mark’s death, Kim returned to work “because I so missed my classroom and my students. ‘My kids’ kept me moving forward. Without knowing it, they kept me focused, learning and laughing even when times were tough. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

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