Alumni Q&A: Kim Smith Spacek ‘91

Kim Smith Spacek ’91 entered the Ethical Culture Fieldston School as a kindergartener in 1979. Since then, she’s remained an active member of the ECFS community — as an alum, a parent, a volunteer, and in the 2019–2020 year, Chair of the Board of Trustees. Today, she leads sales and marketing at a hedge fund in New York City. Here, we get to know more about her and her time at ECFS.

What was your favorite food at the dining hall?

That’s a tough one! It wasn’t at the dining hall — it was actually Bagel Monday. On Mondays, H&H Bagels would deliver bagels to campus!

What do you miss most about ECFS?

The teachers. I still speak with Bob Montera and Joe Algrant. And I will never forget my science teacher, Peter Mott. He was always there to give out hugs. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Al Nivon teaching us the study of ethics and helping me to shape my core values that I still hold dear to this day.

What advice would you give to a current ECFS student?

To listen. I tell this to my oldest son, Cooper, a current ECFS student: Sometimes you learn more from listening. Sometimes you’re talking, and you’re missing the point. My biggest advice is to listen.

What do you like about your job in finance?

I work at a hedge fund in sales and investor relations. My job involves speaking with a lot of different types of people and organizations. Whether it’s a high-net-worth family or pensioners, I love that I get to speak with people from around the world and all different walks of life. I find it rewarding and educational — there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new. ECFS really prepared me for the real world and being able to talk to people from many different demographics. That’s really a fundamental part of why I’m successful at my job, because I have the ability to communicate with a wide variety of people. I love speaking with people.

What’s an average day like for you?

I tend to get up between 5:30am and 6:00am and start to prepare for my day — whether it’s work or Board things — but I like to get up early and give myself like an hour before the boys get up. I must — because otherwise I can’t work out or spend any time by myself!

Typically, I’m at work from 7:30am–6:30pm. I spend my day meeting with clients and potential investors, so I’m pretty much on the phone or meeting people most of my day. I get home around 7:00pm, have dinner, put my babies to bed, and typically, I go to bed around 11:00pm. Not so exciting!

What’s a special tradition for you?

When I was on the Fieldston Alumni Network (FAN) Committee, I started one of our community service projects, which was to decorate the Win Shelter in East New York for the holidays. The Win Shelter has partnered with Robin Hood to allow donors to build gingerbread houses with the children who live at the shelter. But the room is incredibly drab — it’s in the basement of a former warehouse. Several years ago, I was at the shelter decorating these gingerbread houses, and the staff said they really wished they could decorate the shelter ahead of the gingerbread event because it’s such a special day for the kids. So I volunteered to do it! I pitched it to the FAN committee, and it grew from there.

It’s truly my favorite day of the year. It’s a great partnership because we get ECFS 2nd Graders to make ornaments to decorate the center, so it’s an incredibly exciting time for the kids. It’s deeply rewarding. It’s our alumni, some faculty, it’s the kids, so it’s really an ECFS story.

What are you reading these days?

My friend just recently completed a book series, and I am in the process of reading the final installment, Insurrection. It’s a three-part series of a dystopian universe based in “New America.” It’s awesome.