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The first in a series of occasional features on Lawrence Academy faculty.
Groton, MA -- Simply put: Lawrence Academy's Kimberly Poulin is a nexus of energy.
LA's Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Community Engagement, Mrs. Poulin also works as a learning specialist with the academic support office.
"I am here at Lawrence Academy because this is where I should be," said Kimberly earlier this summer. "I love working with adolescents.
"I feel young and energized and happy in my life when I’m around them; I can stay connected to the world when I’m working with students.
"The reason I’ve been able to shift from the classroom...to Student Life is that I love finding what keeps them happy and passionate and playing!"
It's clear that Mrs. Poulin enjoys her work, whether it's collaborating with a student group to garner members, setting up a community service opportunity (like Rise Against Hunger - see video below), or helping student leaders develop a field day program - she's plugged into that passion and playfulness.
"I’ll bring up some wacky idea, and they’ll sit with it for a minute and be like, 'Actually I think that would be kind of cool, why don’t we do that?'” she explained of her brainstorming sessions. "And you know, some of my ideas don’t take off, and that’s okay.
"I mean, that’s also par for the course, and it’s good for students to see that it doesn’t work out, and it’s like, okay, move on, that wasn’t a good idea.
"Let’s try something else," she said.
Mrs. Poulin's can-do, effervescent attitude flows into her connection with her advisees, as well; however, Kimberly explained the relationship in her advisory is even more intense.
"I think my relationship with them is a bit different," explained Mrs. Poulin, whose sons Tyler '18 and Hunter '21 attend LA. "There is a little bit more cheerleading that goes on... but also a lot of love and a lot of care and a lot of opportunity to just hanging out.
"You know, I’ll find myself a lot of times eating with an advisee just for lunch, or we go for a walk, or we go for ice cream, I mean, and that’s just creating a connection."
And it's Kimberly's energy that allows her to connect with so many students across her many roles.
"Again, I love working with adolescents," she said. "I’ve always said to my husband [Michael, who also works at LA in the Athletic Department], the moment that I cannot listen to regular radio - I’m done; I’m out of education. You know?
"The moment that I complain about something that’s teenager-ish, it’s time for me to go."
That said, LA hopes Mrs. Poulin keeps listening to the radio, for a long, long time to come.