Kim Peppler and Kim Well stand out as both one remarkable joint story and also two separate stories providing important services to the students of Vandalia.
The Tale of
Both of these Kims contribute directly to the success of students in the Vandalia school system through their work focused specifically on those students who might need a little extra attention and specific guidance to be successful at school.
Kim Peppler serves as one of three Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) in the school system, while Kim Well works with groups of children who need additional help in making progress with important foundational skills. They often come at similar situations from different perspectives and with distinctly different skill sets; yet in the end, they both work towards advancing the strengths of Vandalia’s most vulnerable students.
The children with whom they work sometimes have challenges related to language – not only their understanding of grammar or how language might be used in social situations, but even phonological comprehension and usage, as some of the students with whom these two gifted educators work even communicate with devices or, in some cases, haven’t yet begun to use language in a conventional way at all.
Kim Peppler notes how she becomes excited by the little gains – after days, weeks, or perhaps even months of working with a student, she celebrates small, yet significant, progress at every opportunity.
Kim Well also explains how, when her students start to improve, they can move from one group to another in a very fluid arrangement, so they can continue to make progress and work towards overcoming their respective challenges and obstacles.
Together, they bring these kids closer to that critical foundation they will need in order to build upon later in life. Brick-by-brick, they help these children establish a foundational strength that will serve them well, whether it’s a semester later, a year later, or a lifetime later.
As both specialists note, they love living in a smaller community because of their appreciation for the sense of family, togetherness, and a kind of calm not easy to find in a large city environment. More importantly, they love the way Vandalia and the surrounding communities come together to help one another out – whether it’s to celebrate something like Kim Peppler’s small gains, or to help their neighbors and friends in the face of tragedy.
To that point, Kim Well describes how she became the mother of a fourth child in a bit of an unconventional way when her son brought home an 11-year-old friend who’d essentially been abandoned and was in need of care and the home where he’d find it. Kim obliged, and has raised that boy as her own.
This type of action speaks directly to the quality of both Kims, and exemplifies the small town ethos they so love about their school and the entire Vandalia community.
As one of our story subjects said in our last magazine, “No one fights alone in Vandalia!” And with the two Kims, their specialized skill sets and particular brand of support for kids, no one ever will!