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Carter Ruttenburg

Kimberly Kocol: Theatre Teacher

Kimberly Kocol is the Carlsbad theatre teacher. She has been a teacher for five years, and started working at CHS this year. Before she worked as a teacher, she was an actress and a costume designer.

LL: Why did you decide to become a theatre teacher?

KK: I decided to become a theatre teacher because I was a theatre practitioner. I worked professionally as a costume designer and as an actress, but I really did not like having to look for a new job every couple of months, which is how things work in theatre and film… So then I thought, ‘I’ll be a theatre teacher. I can do as much theatre as I want, I can do whatever shows I want, and I won’t have to find a new job every couple of months!’

LL: What are your favorite things about teaching theatre?”

KK: “I really like connecting with students in a way that you don’t get to in core classes, because I taught English as well. I love that I really have the opportunity to work with kids on things like mental health and personal wellness. It’s really hard to address [that] in a core subject. I love the art of theatre and seeing kids get excited about it, and the moments when they come up with something cool and creative and it really surprises me, or [when] they have an idea about something that I have never thought of… If I’m thinking about something, I can present it to my students and hear what they all have to say. It helps me think about things.

LL: “How long have you been teaching in general?”

KK: “This is my fifth year as an official teacher, and I tutored before that. I have also taught little bits of theatre things to people for a long time.” 

LL: “How do you feel about your time at CHS so far?”

KK: “I love it. It’s such a lovely campus. Everyone here is so nice. I have had so many people offer me help, and everybody has been really generous, including the students… with their time and energy. I can’t run a department like theatre without a good student staff, and I have an amazing student staff.

LL: “What do you like about your theatre classes?”

KK: “Everything. I like the subject, I like the kids, I like the exercises that we do. I like that I get to spend most of my day on my feet instead of sitting down at my desk.”

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