Oshkosh North community loses a leader

Gauthier taught 31 years in the district, 7 at the high school level


Konrad Bowlus-Jasinski, Writer

Communities teacher Kim Gauthier has had a long, illustrious career which is now coming to an end after 31 years in the teaching profession, 7 of which have come in Communities here at Oshkosh North with the other 24 coming as a teacher at Merrill Middle School.

It was quite an unlikely journey for her as Gauthier herself admits that going into teaching was an unlikely endeavor but learned to love it. 

“I kind of fell into teaching, and I say that because when I went to college – I didn’t know of many professions so when I went to college I knew teaching because I had been in school and thought, ‘Hey, I could probably do that.’” 

Even though she didn’t know at first that she was going to be a teacher, Gauthier has learned to love it. In fact, the thing that she enjoys the most about teaching is how great the kids are. 

”You know, kids really crack me up, so I am smiling every day and I love the rapport I build with them, and they’re just fun; I enjoy the relationships I have with students.” 

The relationship building that Gauthier has done has been consistent throughout her teaching career as she has done it with middle school students as well as with high school students. Gauthier says that the 2 are more similar than people think. 

“People think there is a huge difference [between High School and Middle School students], but I can’t really think of a difference except that middle schoolers are a bit more impulsive, maybe a bit more squirrelly,” Gauthier said.

While Gauthier believes that the kids have stayed mostly the same, another thing that has remained the same is the support that she has gotten within the teaching profession.

“When I was at Merrill, I worked in this group, and we were always raising the bar and making sure we were the best we could be. Over here, I’m on a really great team. They still challenge me 31 years later.”

Because of the many years she put in, Gauthier knows she will miss a lot of the daily grind that comes with school.

“I’ll definitely miss the day-to-day interactions surrounded by 20 students at all times. My children are now all grown [at home], and it’s just my husband and me now. I’m most definitely a social person.”

Another thing Gauthier will miss is being able to make a positive impact on students’ lives. However, although she will miss it, she is still very proud of her work as a teacher.

“In 31 years, I have had around 4,000 kids in and out of my classroom, so, if anything, I hope that if they do remember me from middle school or high school, I hope that it makes them smile.”

Now that Gauthier is retiring, she will have a lot of extra time on her hands for the first time in a while.

“Summers I’ll always be busy anyway since I’ll be doing my summer thing, but then fall will hit so that’ll be interesting. I do have a train trip through the Canadian Rockies planned, and I do think travel will be a big part of my plans. I also have a grandchild on the way, my son is getting married, and I’ve never really had trouble keeping busy.”

As she developed as a teacher, she has gained a lot of wisdom she can pass along.

“You are an average of the 5 people you hang out the most with, so I think, choose your people wisely, and ask yourself, are they helping you be a better version of yourself?”

Reflecting on her career, it is very clear that Gauthier has made the students, staff, and humans in general much better versions of themselves.