Katherine Simpson

Katherine Simpson

Content Specialist
Instructional Services, Educator Edge

Meet Kathy Simpson. She is a Content Specialist in English Language Arts (ELA) and an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher on the Instructional Services team. She has been with Ulster BOCES for 14 years, and has been an educator for a total of 32 years!

Kathy has many roles at Ulster BOCES. She supports districts with their literacy initiatives for ELA and provides training on working with English Language Learners. She conducts a workshop called “Essentials for ELLs” for the Ulster BOCES New Teacher Training Program, develops interdisciplinary content with her colleagues in other disciplines for teachers of English Language Learners, and supports both teachers and students in districts. She also attends Statewide meetings to discuss New York State’s ELA standards and help districts implement them. Sometimes, she is even still called upon to teach ENL classes, which she says she enjoys.

When it comes to education, Kathy has many objectives. For one, she is passionate about promoting an education that focuses on the strengths of both students and teaching professionals. “This is important globally because it is a key component of assessment and instruction, and because recognizing and building on our strengths is an important part of the learning process for all of us,” she explains.

She also believes in the relevance of project-based learning (including visits from experts in the field), which can expand students’ range of experience beyond the walls of the classroom. “Project-based learning can address real-world problems, and we can share that with a global audience to make a better world,” she says.

Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in French from Oberlin College; a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the Teachers College, Columbia University; and a master’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

Before coming to Ulster BOCES, Kathy taught high school ENL for several years at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School, where she was named “Teacher of the Year,” and also worked as an elementary teacher in Jamaica, Queens and at the High School of World Cultures in the Bronx. She ran professional development workshops for the City University of New York and the New York City Department of Education. As a program coordinator of the Office of Student Diversity Programs at Skidmore College, Kathy worked with student-run organizations and arranged program events.

Kathy has had several pieces of her scholarly writing published, including “Reflections on the Moodle Forum” and “Connecting Literacy and Technology,” both published in Field Notes, a publication of the MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) program at Bard College; as well as “Media Images of the Urban Landscape: the South Bronx in Film,” which was published in Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies.

In her spare time, Kathy enjoys reading in a wide variety of genres, hiking, practicing yoga, and dancing. Thanks to the magic of Zoom, she and her sister, who live in different locations, are currently taking the same dance class, which is being led by a professional dance teacher.