Kim (Hibma) Knips — Teacher
Kim (Hibma) Knips, Covenant Award for Christian Faith Recipient, 2010-11 Academic Year
Kim (Hibma) Knips '11 majored in special education and elementary education. She went on to earn her master’s degree in education from Augustana as well. She received the Covenant Award for Service for the 2009-10 academic year.
Q. Tell us about your journey after graduating from Augustana — your career path (what are you doing now), family, education (graduate school), travel, etc.
A. I started working at Lincoln High School in the fall after graduating from Augie and I have not left! I work with students in both the general and special education population. I teach social awareness and a positive decision making class to students who are "at risk" and have a lot of personal struggles.
I married Kyle Knips '08 alum in 2014 and we welcomed our first son, Bennett, in 2015. Bennett just recently became a big brother when Weston joined our family in February. Two little boys are a lot of fun and take a lot of energy!
I also finished the coursework for my Masters in Education from Augustana the summer of 2016.
Q. Greatest challenges and best rewards of your current role?
A. The greatest challenge of my current role as a teacher is working with students with needs beyond what I can "fix." My students come from very tough circumstances and have a tremendous amount of baggage that I wish I could take from them. I have to trust that the love and support I'm giving is the best I can do and that God will take it and multiply it to help them in ways that I cannot. I rarely get to see progress and I often don't get to know the influence I am having on my student's lives. Some students have come back later to tell me how I helped them and that keeps me going! To me, that is the greatest reward a teacher can get!
Q. Favorite class or favorite professor at Augustana, and why?
A. My favorite professor was Joan Bacon. Joan really helped me understand my calling from God as a special educator and pointed out the world's need for me to do what I do. She invested time into helping me improve as a teacher and cared about me as a whole person. We're still connected and I'm glad I can call her my friend and a mentor years after leaving Augie!
Q. What were you involved in that prepared you for the present and future?
A. I was involved with the Residence Life staff and the leadership skills I gained prepared me for my work as a teacher and it provided me with life-long friends. Many fun memories were created on my Chapel Youth Outreach team doing lock-ins, too. I only wish I was as fun, helpful and productive at 2 a.m. now as I once was in college!
Q. If you could offer an Augustana student some advice, what would you say?
A. Live like a college student and soak up these years because you don't get them back! Have all the fun you can, create as many memories as you can, and be involved in the amazing community that surrounds you at Augie!
Q. A foundation for life at Augustana begins with our five core values – Christian Faith, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community and Service. How did your time at Augustana help to ensure those values remain central in your life?
A. Augustana was the perfect place for me to grow in my faith and to question what I believed in a healthy way. The conversations had with professors and the lectures I learned from and were challenged with, are like nothing else I've experienced. Augie is a place full of faithful followers to serve alongside and to learn from. It's a community like none-other and a place filled with love and passion that I am still so thankful for.