Highland Grove Elementary School's new principal Kim Lium comes into the 2019-2020 school year looking not to shake everything up but rather to learn what it is to be a Grizzly.
Talking to Highland Community News on Wednesday, August 14, Lium says she wants to learn what Highland Grove needs before rewriting anything in the rule book.
"My goal is just… first off to get to know the community, get to know the school and assimilate myself into their culture… and how they operate. Definitely not changing anything right off the bat."
Lium feels that will help her figure out how she can best implement Redlands Unified School District's (RUSD) 2025 vision.
"Our superintendent's vision is to bring excellence to all of our schools. That is coupled with rigor in the classrooms, innovative instruction, campus safety and academic excellence all-around with all of those pieces."
She points out that involves continuing to bring in new technology, as such evolves at breakneck speed.
Being the new Grizzly leader is an experience Lium describes simply as 'excellent.'
"It's been a fabulous start to school," said Lium. "The parents, the community, the teachers , the staff members, everybody has just been so warm and welcoming… It's great to be in the community I live in and it's been a really great experience with the opening of school."
This year marks Lium's 20 school year working in Redlands schools. In that time she has been a teacher, an assistant principal and served as principal of Lugonia Elementary just before coming to Highland Grove.
"The superintendent had some movements to make with regard to principals and strengths, and where our strengths best fit with schools. So some moves w2ere made and I transferred from Lugonia to Highland Grove this year."
Lium says she went with teaching after finding business school didn't suit her.
"Education was actually my second major in college; It wasn't my first choice, I was actually a business major and took almost a year's worth of classes… and then decided that really wasn't for me."
Her passion for getting kids excited to go to school is what's driven her for the past 23 years.
"I'd always enjoyed working with kids, but never really considered the teaching profession. After switching those gears and going into teaching, those classes just spoke to me and ignited my passion. And ever since then that's just been one of my true loves is working with kids. I'm extremely passionate about curriculum and instruction and finding those best fits to motivate kids and getting kids energized to learn."
But having said that, Lium acknowledges running a school is in ways like running a business, what with solving day-to-day problems and managing school operations. In addition, Lium was on the planning board for the opening of Beattie Middle School.
"I suppose that year of classes wasn't wasted!"
Her son, Brock, and daughter, Abby, both attend Citrus Valley High School. Brock is a freshman, gearing up for touchdowns on the Blackhawk gridiron. Abby is a junior, serving what she can for the volleyball team.
Lium's husband, Boyd, is the athletic director at Citrus Valley.
Lium and her family live in Highland.