Special Feature – Interview with Dr. CHRISTINA Kishimoto and Associate Superintendent Rebekah Kim

MAY 2023 | Dr. Christina Kishimoto

Listen deeply to this interview I did with Rebekah Kim as she provides an authentic view of her experiences as an Asian American woman within PK-12 public school leadership. “I got to be my authentic self. I felt seen.” Those are the words of Rebekah Kim, newly appointed Associate Superintendent in the Kent School District in Washington, sharing her experience with a recent search process. As you listen, consider the sociopolitical context of Rebekah’s story.

An Ed Week story that ran in February 2023 asked the question, “Why aren’t there more Asian American school leaders?” Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) teachers make up just over 2.5% of the public school teaching workforce, while Asian students account for 5.4% of enrollment (NCES, 2021). Education Week interviewed four AAPI school leaders to understand why more individuals from this community might not consider an education career and how this could be addressed. Among the leaders’ suggestions was the need for more visibility for existing AAPI leaders and educators, as individuals need to see themselves in these roles. Also noted was the need to create strong mentorship, coaching, and support systems for AAPI educators to help improve diversity in the workforce. The research on Asian Americans in the Superintendent seat is lacking.

Rebekah provides personal insight into these issues and more. Enjoy this story and be part of this important dialogue. Change is needed. You can be the source of change.

With gratitude,Christina

Watch the conversation on YouTube here.

Dr. Christina Kishimoto sits down with Associate Superintendent Rebekah Kim