Director Kara Bickhem May


Kara Bickhem May is an educator with over twenty years experience, and a deep passion for the hearts and development of young people. Mrs. May knew from in her youth that she would be an educator. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in French and a dual minor in Music and English at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, where she began her career as a French Teacher in Kirksville.

Mrs. May continued her education at Truman, earning her Masters of Arts in Education with an English and French concentration, while working with students in grades K-12. During this period in her life, her passion for teaching the whole child bloomed; she developed an appreciation for seeing students develop over time. Mrs. May moved back to the southern suburbs of Chicagoland to become a French and English teacher, where she had the opportunity to mentor girls, provide professional development, and eventually move to a department chair, district administrator and Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Specialist. May earned a second Masters in Educational Leadership from Governors State University in University Park, IL. This opportunity gave her a deeper appreciation for the processes of prudent and efficient school planning, curriculum development, student programming, and the importance of well-developed adult decisions.

“I feel honored to have the opportunity to pour into the lives of the Art In Motion family as we grow passionate academic and artistic capacity in our students.”
— Kara Bickhem May

Mrs. May strongly believes that the journey and decisions made along the journey are often more important than the destination. It is immensely important to May that children recognize their potential and are empowered to achieve it. Mrs. May’s leadership style and positive attitude made her an excellent fit in the Distinctive Schools family, and the number one choice to lead the growing Art In Motion family.

Mrs. May shares messages of love, faith, respect, and perseverance in all aspects of her life. Outside of education, she enjoys spending time with her husband, her two children and her grandson, and can be found singing, songwriting, and working with Beyond the Pen, an editorial coaching and consulting company founded by Mrs. May and her husband.