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In September of 2018, Upper School Computer Science teacher and robotics coach Kim Smith spoke to a celebratory crowd at the opening of the Fader Innovation Center. He used the occasion to poke fun at himself, saying that he was the “wildly unqualified and unprepared teacher” who introduced a competitive robotics program to McDonogh five years earlier. He gave credit for that program’s success to a mentor and a dozen eager students. A modest man, Kim always prefers to shine the spotlight on others.
Prior to coming to McDonogh in 2011, Kim worked in commercial software research and development. Later, he taught at Rocky Mountain College in Montana where he was an associate professor of Computer Science. He enjoyed the opportunity to offer his students some experience-based perspective and pragmatic knowledge of the field.
At McDonogh, Kim has had a powerful impact on our computer science, engineering, and robotics programs. He has added depth and breadth to our curriculum, offering computer science classes that begin in sophomore year and extend into a variety of post-AP electives. Our burgeoning robotics program is part of FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. Through FIRST, our teams enter competitions in building their own robots and battling others.
Kim was a major collaborator in the design and construction of the Fader Innovation Center. Once again giving credit to others, Kim declared that this “stunning facility” was “built by a community that believes in saying, ‘Yes.’” Over the years, he has repeatedly thanked and praised adult members of the McDonogh family for their hard work on behalf of students and for their support of him and robotics.
An avid fan of McDonogh’s arts programs, Kim wrote movingly about the opportunities he has had to “brush past your brilliance...at wondrous events.” Now it is our turn, Kim, to thank you for allowing us to brush past your brilliance. We shine brighter because of you.