NAME:  Nikki Kittley

DEPARTMENT/CAMPUS:  Counselor at Thomas Elementary, the BEST school in the whole world!

YEARS WITH AISD:  24 years.  I started my career at Alta Vista Elementary as a Blue Rooster!

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?  WHAT SCHOOL DID YOU ATTEND?  I am from the tiny town of Rule, Texas.  After graduation, I came to Abilene to attend Abilene Christian University.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY:  I married my high school sweetheart, Danny Kittley (an attendance officer at AHS), and we have three sons. They are products of the AISD and attended Taylor, Thomas, Franklin, Craig, and AHS. All three graduated from Abilene High School – Go Eagles!  Luke and his wife Jensen have my four grandchildren: Jett, Jones, Jane, and Joli.  Ben, a Texas Tech alum, is married to Jordan and lives in Abilene. Nate is a senior at ACU.  I have two boxers: Holly and Mama.

TELL US SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOURSELF:  I’m completely obsessed with football – both college and pro. I pretty much plan my life around the football schedule during this time of the year. My teams are the Red Raiders, Fighting Irish, Cowboys and Texans.  My bucket list includes going to the NCAA Football Championship and the Super Bowl.  As for baseball, I also want to go to Fenway Park and the College World Series.  MLB World Series, you might ask?  Been there, done that….TWICE! Boom.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB:  Hands down, my favorite part of my job is being with the kids.  They are open, honest, and want someone to show them they care. I love building relationships and figuring out what motivates them. I get hugs – LOTS of hugs. I get to be a helper. How cool is that? I get paid to be a helper! I get to celebrate many things each and every day: when someone learns to write their name, when they make a new friend, when they learn their math facts, when they walk quietly in a straight line, when they understand what personal space means, when they can find their lunch ticket by themselves, when their parent gets out of jail, when they remember their homework, when they get a new puppy, when they lose a tooth, when they walk to class all by themselves, when they learn a new dance for the talent show, when they get an award for laps on the track, when they get a new school job, and the list goes on and on. My dad taught me to find something to celebrate each day. Luckily, if I forget, I have 500 little ones to remind me. J

WHAT THE BOSS SAYS ABOUT HER:  “Nikki Kittley has a heart for children and leads by example.  Her goal is to meet with every student at Thomas during the first few weeks of school to form a relationship with them. She conducts small group sessions in her office during lunch. Nikki always has a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. Thomas Elementary is blessed to have her as a part of our faculty.” – Cindy Hay, principal, Thomas Elementary