Kim Wachtelhausen is the CSDE Talent Office Liaison to the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council. She began her career as an elementary special education teacher and became trained in Reading Recovery to serve our youngest learners. Kim got involved with the Beginning Educator, Support and Training (BEST) Program as a cooperating teacher and mentor. Eventually, she became trained as a BEST portfolio scorer and hesitantly left the classroom to explore deeper conversations as a Teacher-in-Residence for the CT State Department of Education. Kim became the project leader for the Elementary BEST Program until the program ended in 2009. She was actively involved in the development of the Teacher Education and Mentoring (TEAM) Program to provide guided support for beginning teachers as part of their induction into the profession. Currently, Kim works in the Bureau of Leadership Development with a focus on defining and expanding the roles of teacher leaders.