Alumni Events and Reunions

Alumni Highlight: Kim Duff Selby E '74

Kim's favorite part about attending Everglades School for Girls was the community created by having such small classes. "I really had the opportunity to be me. Sure, I got called out for talking too much, but I do believe that my spirit was never squashed and I was allowed to be me – quirky, chatty, theatrical!"
RE: What was your favorite part about attending Everglades School for Girls?
KDS: Well it would be great if I could say the uniforms... the saddle shoes, the long skirts, but that’s not my favorite part. However, in retrospect, it was a great thing upon which I can expound but won’t!

My favorite parts of Everglades were the other girls and the community created by having such small classes. I really had the opportunity to be me. Sure, I got called out a lot for talking too much, but I do believe that my spirit was never squashed and I was allowed to be me – quirky, chatty, theatrical, crazy. 

RE: Did you attend from 7th grade on? 
KDS: Yes indeed I did.

RE: Who was your favorite teacher and why?
KDS: This is a tough one because I had so many that I really loved. However, Mr. Doug Bischoff was my fav. He really related to us, as he wasn’t that much older than we were. Sure he was cute and in an all girls' school, you know that took precedence sometimes.  More importantly, he made learning fun. When we studied Russian History, we were required to read Nicholas and Alexandra and watch the movie. He had a way of bringing history to life. He was ahead of his time in his teaching style, getting us involved in the stories of the past and not just the dates and facts. I never enjoyed a history class more than his in my entire educational journey.

RE: What were your extracurricular activities when at Everglades?
KDS: I was really into the whole team thing – Ibis junior team captain, Ibis captain, can’t remember all of the positions I held in the school, but I remember always making speeches and posters and running for some office or another.

I was in any theatrical production that would have me! I was a member of the Thespian Society, Glee Club, and when we got a gymnastics team, I was on that too. I worked on the yearbook a few years and a publication we had called Sandpiper I think. I was in every talent show… Oh and then there were those three years as a cheerleader for Ransom. Oh, the stories…

RE: What’s one of the best things you learned about yourself at Everglades?
KDS: Whoa, what a question. It is only in reflecting back on my time at Everglades that I am able to answer. I learned that it was okay to be me, as mentioned in an earlier answer. I love to be around other women/girls and connect. As an only child, I absolutely loved going to school and being with other smart, fun and interesting girls. I loved eating together, playing together and learning together. I am a totally community-driven person. As an extrovert, I get my energy from others and at EVS I developed skills to help me in college and beyond, how to study, how to be in community as well as how to be a good human. In my six years, I grew from a gangly short, frizzy 12-year-old to a somewhat less gangly, tall, still frizzy 17-year-old. I was still very young and inexperienced, as I was just really getting started in learning about myself.

RE: What was your favorite song the year you graduated?
KDS: Of course, I had to Google songs from 1974 because I had no idea. Being a musical theatre enthusiast, those are the soundtracks from my youth. I listened to Hair on repeat, Oklahoma and of course "Annie Get Your Gun" (I got to play Annie my junior year at EVS and had to kiss a boy!). But I guess if we are talking contemporary, it would be something from The Jackson Five.

RE: Where did you attend college?
KDS: Colgate University and grad school at Syracuse University.

RE: What was your major?
KDS: English at Colgate, Broadcast Journalism at Syracuse.

RE: What was your first ever job?
KDS: Okay, so I think you mean right out of grad school, but my first paying job was as a counselor in 9th grade at Ransom Day Camp!

After graduating, I moved to NYC (you knew a story was coming didn’t you?). I worked in Lord and Taylor for a few months while “looking.” So that was officially first, but my first real job was at Doyle Dane Bernbach ad agency. I was in the producer training program. Thought I wanted to be a commercial producer. Well, I really wanted to be an actress and if not that, then a TV interviewer. But being with my friends in NYC seemed more fun. (My mom passed away in 1978 when I was in grad school, so I wanted to be with my community – refer back to many answers about the importance of community to me).

In the production department, I ran cameras for casting calls, lugged cables and did audio editing, just a Go-fer (with a master’s degree). I was in good company as the six of us who were in the program all had graduate degrees and had gone to Columbia, Radcliffe and the like. It will not surprise you that my favorite thing about that job was…the community of people! 

RE: You have had some incredible jobs. Which one was your favorite?
KDS: My favorite job was working at Glamour Magazine in NYC. It was so incredible being surrounded by fashion, my second love next to theatre, and really being on Madison Avenue at a time when money was no object, magazines were flourishing and advertising agencies were looked upon with high regard. The elevators at the Conde Nast building where I worked were filled with the most fashionable and interesting women. We were in the same building as all the big-name magazines, Vogue, Self, so many. We traveled the country and brought the pages of the magazine to life. I was able to combine my love of fashion, speaking and travel (along with being in a remarkable community of mostly women). We traveled first class, had limos take us to the airport, stayed in the best hotels and were never allowed to travel alone. The company really took care of us.

RE: How did you start your podcast, Ignite Your Spark?
KDS: Hello Global Pandemic – as I am writing this, one thing becomes so clear: I crave community. Since that was what was missing in my life, I created my own online community.

My J.Hilburn business was in a downward spiral, I couldn't go to a gym, see friends, etc. I also sensed that so many of us were falling into despair. I mean, you could only watch so many episodes of Tiger King without gnawing your nails off. I started by doing Motivational Minutes every day for 45 days. I videotaped myself doing silly things, dancing, singing – you name it and posted to Facebook and Instagram. And Ignite Your Spark came to me after doing that.

I had always wanted to be on TV as an interviewer. The podcast space made it easy for anyone to be an interviewer, as long as you have gumption, ambition and willingness to learn new skills. I combined my love of interviewing with my desire to bring light, inspiration and motivation to others and created Ignite Your Spark. Before I did that, in May of 2020 I created a four-week online course called, none other than Ignite Your Spark. I had 14 women attend via ZOOM, and I combined my knowledge as a certified creativity coach, my years working in theatre and the improv space and just life lessons to bring people together to journal, explore and unleash their inner spark.

RE: What is your favorite time of day?
KDS: Morning without a doubt. I sit on my deck every day when it isn’t raining, drink some tea, give thanks and try to meditate. It’s an ongoing practice.

RE: What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
KDS: Love this question…The fact that I am alive and have another day to find something for which to be grateful. I look for the magic every single day. I have a gratitude practice first thing in the morning where I list at least five things for which I am grateful that day.  At night I choose one thing for which I am most grateful from the day and reflect on that as well.

RE: What is a favorite quote?
KDS: No brainer. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” Marianne Williamson

RE: What book are you currently reading?
KDS: I just finished a book called Mary Jane – cute, fun, quick – (my daughter and I share a Kindle Unlimited account, so I read what she puts in there!). Going to start “The Paris Library.” Love romance, mystery and historical fiction.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.