On the afternoon of August 3rd, Kim Hibbard Tolander of Southborough passed away unexpectedly after a brief illness. She leaves her loving husband Mats Tolander, her cherished son Max, and her devoted parents Jack and Shirley Hibbard to carry her memory and legacy forward.
Kim’s passion was inclusion, and she lived this value in myriad ways in her personal and professional life. She was a staunch and influential advocate for those who may not fit the traditional molds, but deserved respect, empathy and community. She lived a life of kindness, compassion and connection.
Within NSPAC, we remember Kim for her fierce dedication to those students on IEPs and 504s; with particular interest in the areas of education in Executive Function and Social Emotional Challenges. She often spoke of “the kids in the middle” and never wanted anyone to be left behind. Her passion led to her election to the Southborough School Committee in 2021 where she worked with NSPAC, School Committee, and our District partners in Student Support Services to build bridges and solidify existing connections between the three groups. Her efforts helped push forward initiatives related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the SPED community, along with her many other educational passions. While many of the topics we discuss and advocate can feel heavy at times, Kim always brought a sense of humor, a witty comment, and an ability to make you smile at all times. She was a ray of sunshine that impacted all our lives so deeply. She will be missed beyond words and remembered with tremendous love.
Alyssa Degon, Johanna Sheyner, & Nikol Maher