Kim Speer '84
Kim Speer graduated from USC Upstate in 1984 with a BS in Physical Education. She went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Converse College in 1994, and completed her National Board Certification in Physical Education in 2006.
Speer was hired as a physical education teacher in the multi-handicapped school at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB) in October 1984 and has worked there ever since. “I love my job, because working with children with disabilities is very rewarding and challenging experience,” said Speer. “My goal is to find a way for all students to participate to their fullest potential in everything they do and to be able to participate with their families at home.”
Proudly named Teacher of the Year for the SCSDB’s multi-handicapped school in 2004 and again in 2008, Speer coaches seven Special Olympics sports and a Jump Rope for Heart Demonstration Team. The demonstration team is the only team in the country comprised of students with disabilities.
She remembers Joe Bowman and Mim Sheldon as great mentors during her time at USC Upstate. “They set the standard high and helped me achieve my goals and become a very successful teacher in the field of Physical Education,” said Speer. While enrolled at USC Upstate, Speer played volleyball and softball, and also kept the stats for the men’s basketball team.
“My fondest memory during my time at Upstate was when the boy’s basketball team won the national championship,” said Speer. “That was such an awesome experience to be a part of. Winning a National Championship does not happen often and I loved every moment. Some of my college classmates even drove out to Kansas City to watch the third and toughest game they played.
Speer was born and raised in Fountain Inn, S.C. She and her husband, Lee Speer ’83, live in Boiling Springs. Lee is also employed by the SCSDB as an Assistive Technology Specialist and Teacher of the visually impaired. In their spare time, Kim and Lee enjoy camping, scuba diving, and golf.
Their son, Wade, is 22 years old and received a Physical Therapy Assistant Degree from Greenville Technical College. He is currently employed by Austin Rehab in Union, S.C. Their daughter, Tori, is 20 years old, and is currently attending USC Upstate. She is employed by Robin’s Nest Daycare and is engaged to be married on June 6, 2009.
Speer is very active in the local community, serving as vice president on the board of the South Carolina Foundation for Disabled Athletes. She also serves on the board of the Area 12 Special Olympics, and volunteers at her church as an ASL interpreter and games director for AWANA Cubbies.