Kimber Perala is in her ninth year at South Beloit, She teaches AP Psychology, Sociology, World Cultures, Government and Consumer Education. Kimber is a second-career educator who has worked as a legal secretary, then worked in the public sector at the Winnebago County public defender’s office, then went into private practice doing criminal, civil and municipal law. Her time showed her how a lack of education impacts a young person’s life and at 40, she got her teaching certificate and master’s degree. “I believed that if I could be instrumental in keeping one at-risk kid in school, I had made a good decision. I can proudly say that I have kept that promise to myself” … “Every day is a challenge when a teacher is competing with outside forces like crime, gangs and family issues. I believe I present an open atmosphere where students feel safe to be themselves and learn how successful they can be on their own” … “I have had multiple emails from prior students who want to discuss the issues in this election and who proudly tell me that they voted for the first time. I want to get them interested. I want them to debate issues … [and]…“challenge ideas. It has been a really fun fall.” From her student nominator, “She gives us the skills that we will need for the rest of our lives.”