May 23, 2018
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Brian Kimbark ’15 MSEd ’18, a second grade teacher at Bishop Dunn Memorial School (center), received a Master of Science in Education at Mount Saint Mary College’s 55th annual Commencement on Saturday, May 19. Pictured behind him is his wife, Julianna Kimbark ’15 MSEd ’18 (waving), who also graduated with him on Saturday.
After seven years of being a Mount Saint Mary College student, Brian Kimbark ’15 MSEd ’18 of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. isn’t ready to say goodbye to the college’s supportive community and scenic riverfront campus.
Thankfully, he doesn’t have to.
That’s because the double alumnus is a second grade teacher at Bishop Dunn Memorial School, a K-8 school located on the Mount’s Newburgh campus. Bishop Dunn boasts a number of Mount graduates as teachers, including a few younger alumni who, like Kimbark, graduated from the college within the last five years.
For Kimbark, who just graduated with a master’s degree in Literacy at the Mount’s 55th annual Commencement on Saturday, May 19, his Mount and Bishop Dunn experiences have always gone hand-in-hand. He completed several hours of fieldwork for his Education classes at the school as an undergraduate, he explained.
“It was incredibly helpful to be able to complete my fieldwork on campus, as many of my professors had close working relationships with the teachers, staff, and administration at Bishop Dunn, and were able to effectively communicate what was expected of us,” Kimbark reflected. “Not to mention, it was incredibly helpful to have Bishop Dunn so close when I lived on campus.”
Prior to teaching at Bishop Dunn Memorial School, Kimbark participated in student teaching at Van Wyck Junior High School in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. in 2015.
Many of the teachers at Bishop Dunn are Mount graduates, including principal Nancy Benfer ’04. Having that common ground allows for much easier collaboration, noted Kimbark.
“I have had very positive relationships with all of the teachers at Bishop Dunn, many of whom are Mount graduates themselves,” he said. “Of course we all have our own specific styles when it comes to teaching, but I think we all seem to value the same aspects of teaching.”
He added, “In my experience, the teachers at Bishop Dunn who are graduates of the Mount are not afraid to try new things, and incorporate engaging activities into their lessons.”
Kimbark credits his Mount education for not only introducing him to Bishop Dunn, but also for preparing him to be the educator he is today.
“My biggest takeaway from the Education program at the Mount was the importance of using research-based methods of teaching, and the importance of teaching with the specific needs of the diverse student populations in mind,” he said. “I feel that I was as prepared as I could be going into my first year of teaching.”
Beyond the Bishop Dunn connection, the Mount continues to remain an integral part of Kimbark’s life – he married fellow Education alumna Julianna DeBellis Kimbark ’15 MSEd ’18 this past summer in the Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary. The two met during their first Education class at the Mount and graduated together twice, most recently with their master’s degrees on May 19.