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2013 Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Leadership Winner

Kalpana Kumar Sharma, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Brightwood Education Campus

Kalpana Sharma

In her 12th year teaching at Brightwood, Kalpana Kumar Sharma finds joy and happiness in working to shape the young minds in her classroom. She says that her mother’s ability “to guide, support, and inspire people to live a happy life made me aspire to bring these things to my students.” She differentiates her lessons to reach her students where they are, and engages them in hands-on activities. Capturing the key to their success, Ms. Kumar explains, “My positive attitude and sense of humor always encourages my students to try their best without any fear of failure. I create an environment where they feel safe and respected.”

Ms. Kumar has volunteered to serve DCPS and her school community as a grade level chair, member of the school Equity Committee, Teacher Selection Ambassador, LIFT Ambassador, Teaching In Action Consulting Teacher, and member of the Chancellor’s Teachers’ Cabinet. She was also recognized with the Wolf Trap Best Teacher Award for two consecutive years in 2004 and 2005. Her biggest reward, though, is “the great energy, curiosity, and excitement I see in my students each day,” Ms. Kumar says. “Teaching gives me the power to help a student realize his or her innate potential.” Ms. Kumar has been rated Highly Effective in all four years of IMPACT evaluations.