Kimball travels, teaches and shares his knowledge


Graphic by Phoebe Kallaher

Above is a map of the world. French teacher Andrew Kimball has visited all of the countries colored in green.

Phoebe Kallaher, Staff Writer

While many have never even left the country, French teacher and Head of Global Trips Andrew Kimball has visited 80 countries and speaks six languages. He has traveled all over Europe, South America and Asia, speaking the local language throughout.

Kimball is a knowledgeable traveler who brings his experiences with languages, people and cultures of the world into his classroom.

According to French teacher Laura Gurry, Kimball is truly invested in discovering the world and makes it his mission to learn everything about the people and history of the places he visits.

“He’s not just somebody who goes to a country to say he’s been there,” Gurry said. “He goes to a country to learn more about its people and see how it can relate to his teaching.”

Kimball speaks French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Italian, as well as some Chinese. He has travelled to places that speak these languages and places that do not. These experiences have allowed him to recognize the level to which language skills redefine one’s travel experience.

“It’s fun to be able to connect with people,” Kimball said. “You say a sentence or two, and it really puts a smile on their face to hear that someone has studied their language.”

Through his roles as the chief organizer of the French Exchange and the Head of Global Trips, Kimball does his best to share his experiences and help students explore the world themselves.

“He is just so cool about sharing what his experiences have been and showing pictures that I almost feel like I’m living vicariously through him,” Gurry said. “He always has recommendations. He can give advice on where to go and how to get there and is super generous and sweet about that information.”

Gurry and Kimball have run the French Exchange Program for the past nine years and the two have taken students to France together four separate times. Senior Roger Burtonpatel found that the French Exchange allowed him to really get to know Kimball.

“I really gained a deep love and respect for him,” Burtonpatel said. “He really helped me on the trip, served as a mentor, helped me with a lot of things. ”

According to Burtonpatel, who was in Kimball’s French class for two years, Kimball is able to simultaneously create a warm and cohesive classroom, and provide a personalized education experience to all his students. He connects words to their Romance language relatives, holds Lip Sync battles and brings real-world current events into the language classroom.

“He is very involved with their success, genuinely cares about each individual student, not just the class as a whole,” Burtonpatel said. “He has achieved a level of mastery of pushing each student according to their own level.”

According to Burtonpatel, Kimball is a huge music fan and frequently recommends films and movies to his students. His other hobbies include cooking, especially French cuisine, and spending time with his cats. He has also recently taken up tennis and quickly improved his skill at his indoor Dedham club.

Kimball has been passionate about languages since he was young. A trip to France when he was 16 cemented his love for the culture and language.

“I wanted a career where I could use the language every day,” Kimball said. “In the world language classroom I can speak the language every day and help others learn that language.”