Colorado's Future Educator Honor Roll

Our educators are training the next generation of artists, scientists, engineers and health professionals who will power Colorado’s economy and communities. That’s why elevating the profession is a top priority for the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

To lead into Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re recognizing Colorado’s top teacher candidates on Wednesday, May 2 at a ceremony in the West Foyer of the State Capitol from 10 a.m. to noon.

See the event agenda.

Download the event program.

Download the press release template.

 

2018 Honorees

Student: Leanna Brazel
Institution: Adams State University
Program: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with Emphasis in Literacy
About Leanna: Leanna is a native of the San Luis Valley and believes in giving back to her community. Leanna is a natural when it comes to teaching. She pours her heart and soul into creating meaningful, relevant, challenging, and culturally responsive learning experiences for students. Throughout the program, Leanna has displayed resilience and subscribes to a growth mindset. She is an asset to the profession, keeping the best interests of students at the forefront of her thinking and decision making.

 

Student: Miranda Glowczewski
Institution: Adams State University
Program: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
About Miranda: Miranda is majoring in Elementary Education with an emphasis in science. She is a native of the San Luis Valley and values teaching in rural areas. Miranda is a very enthusiastic and dynamic preservice teacher. She is collaborative and able to work well with others when faced with challenges. Miranda is creative in her instructional strategies and makes it a priority to engage all students in relevant and meaningful learning experiences. She displays the professional dispositions and habits of mind needed to be an effective teacher.

 

Student: Mackenzie Lincoln
Institution: Arvada West High School
Program: Teacher Cadets
About Mackenzie: Mackenzie is energetic, giving, open-minded and willing to help out even when she is overwhelmed with her own work. Her passion for learning is contagious, and her work ethic is phenomenal. She sets such high standards for herself that she inspires those around her to raise the bar. As a student, Mackenzie has embraced all aspects of learning and participating in her education. She is a dedicated and competent student, involved within the school community as a student leader for the past last two years. Mackenzie is well beyond her years through all of these experiences. Mackenzie deserves to be recognized for the work that she has done with students at Fremont Elementary and for the Teacher Cadet Program.

 

Student: Michelle Bruning
Institution: Bollman Technical Education Center
Program: Teacher Cadets
About Michelle: A senior at Legacy High School, Michelle is a second year Teacher Cadet student who wants to become a special education teacher and work with children with mild to moderate disabilities. Patient, kind and dedicated, she has spent more than 100 hours in the classroom working with special education teachers. She also participates in a club called Bridges, which connects students with disabilities to general education students. Michelle is dedicated, reflective in her learning and has a passion for her future career.

 

Student: Alissa Torrez
Institution: Bollman Technical Education Center
Program: Teacher Cadets
About Alissa: A senior at Thornton High School, Alissa is a first year Teacher Cadet student. She is a natural with students. Alissa has spent more than 30 hours working in a 2nd grade class and spends time volunteering in an after school program in a Title 1 school. Alissa also earned an internship with Westminster City in their recreation summer program. Alissa will be an outstanding educator in the future.

 

 

Student: Lydia Freliech
Institution: Colorado College
Program: Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education
About Lydia: Lydia graduated from Colorado College in May 2017 as an education major and has completed her student teaching in a 4th/5th grade classroom at Mountain Vista Community School, where she earned a perfect score on her Teacher Candidate Performance Assessment. She continually reflects on her practice and truly believes in the value and worth of each child as a capable individual. Creative and inspiring, Lydia is passionate about the critical need for culturally responsive pedagogy, reflective of her own positionality and valuing the lived experiences of all her students. Next, she will be teaching at an intermediate school in Auckland, New Zealand.

 

Student: Savannah Teeple
Institution: Colorado College
Program: Master of Arts in Teaching
About Savanah: Savannah entered CC's program with an impressive resume filled with environmental and outdoor education experience. She knew two things: that she loved science and she loved helping instill that love and passion in youth. A natural teacher, she has blossomed in the classroom, sharing her passion and demonstrating incredible warmth and high expectations for all her students. Savannah embodies not just the passion of a teacher, but also grit and perspective. Although she has overcome many obstacles as a student teacher already, she feels it has made her stronger and more empathetic as an educator, and faculty know she will make the difference in many lives.

 

Student: Tiffanie Dinkel
Institution: Colorado Christian University
Program: Master’s in Education in Special Education Licensure
About Tiffanie: Tiffanie has exhibited excellence in teaching and demonstrating her ability to connect with students. Her outstanding work ethic, quality of completed assignments and her professional attitude are attributes that will serve her well in the educational field. She works well with her students, her cooperating teacher and all the staff with which she comes in contact. She has the desire to be an outstanding teacher and she is willing to collaborate with others to gain ideas to be successful in the classroom. She began her student teaching at Horizon High School in Thornton in January and has loved every minute of teaching and mentoring students. She feels she has found her true calling, teaching, and is excited to start her new career helping students become successful.

 

Student: Johanna Steele
Institution: Colorado Christian University
Program: Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and Special Education
About Johanna: Johanna has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her education at CCU and has a lifelong passion for working with children with special needs. During this semester, she discovered her passion for working with students with Autism, and her positive experience during her student teaching has led her to accept a job as a teacher in one of Colorado’s elementary Autism centers. Between Johanna’s excellent performance, both in the classroom and in her own academic efforts, she has proven to be a gifted teacher who will bring much to her students throughout her future in the teaching profession.

 

Student: Pete Ray
Institution: Colorado Mesa University
Program: Bachelor’s in Secondary Education English
About Pete: Pete is a talented teacher and shows skills beyond his years, currently teaching 8th Grade English Language Arts in Fruita. Both his parents were teachers, and in his short time teaching, he has already begun to realize the great responsibility teachers have in caring for and empowering their students. He enjoys developing relationships with students and bettering them for their futures. He is a team player and always willing to go above and beyond for his students, other staff members and his school. Pete looks forward to having a positive impact on the lives of his students for many years to come.

 

Student: Keri Todd
Institution: Colorado Mesa University
Program: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
About Keri: Keri is originally from Boulder and is passionate about teaching and supporting learners of all backgrounds. Keri is a natural at teaching in her 5th grade classroom. She encourages higher level thinking in her students through asking thought provoking questions while making the content engaging and interesting to all students. She demonstrates a passion for learning which is contagious to her students. She is extremely excited to start her career as a teacher in the Colorado Springs area this fall. Outside of the classroom, Keri enjoys listening to music, reading and traveling.

 

Student: Diana Hernández
Institution: Colorado Mountain College - Edwards Campus
Program: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement
About Diana: Diana is originally from San Diego, California. She came to Colorado hoping to improve her English language skills and decided to pursue her passion for teaching. She currently teaches English and Spanish math and literacy to moderate needs students from K-5 and is a full-time student. As Spanish heritage speaker, Diana develops strong lessons for English and Spanish literacy and math to differentiate the needs of newcomers and students with moderate needs students. She incorporates the Social Justice Standards in her lessons to address identity, diversity, justice, and action issues to create spaces for mutual accommodation.

 

Student: Kelli Ludwig
Institution: Colorado Mountain College - Edwards Campus
Program: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement
About Kelli: Kelli lives in Gypsum and currently owns a small event and marketing company that subcontracts with outdoor companies. Two years ago, Kelli downsized her company when she decided to return to school and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher for children. She will be entering her internship year in the 2018-2019 school year. Kelli has implemented strategies and techniques, such as biography cards and cultural quilts, to know her students in four dimensions: linguistically, cognitively, academically and socioculturally. This information has been used effectively during planning instruction and assessment.

 

Student: Ana Chavira
Institution: Colorado Mountain College - Glenwood Campus
Program: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
About Ana: Ana Chavira grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley. She is Mexican-American and the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She has worked in the field of education for five years. Currently, she is pursuing her bachelor’s in elementary education with an endorsement, and she is proud to say she will be the first person in her family to have a college degree come May 2019. She values her family and community: her six year-old son is her drive and motivation. She is passionate about teaching and strives to meet every students’ needs. Her strongest skills are her work ethic and compassion. She considers herself a lifelong learner that wants to be a force of good.

 

Student: Tiffany Simonson
Institution: Colorado Mountain College - Glenwood Campus
Program: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement
About Tiffany: Tiffany is a dedicated, caring, skilled, reflective and passionate teacher candidate who builds strong relationships with her students. Tiffany demonstrates a high level of commitment to her scholarship and field experiences. This is apparent in her growing leadership in her school, as school leaders seek her out to train other paraprofessionals. As a teacher candidate, Tiffany consistently incorporates best practices in lesson design, instructional strategies and strategies specifically intended to include cultural and linguistically diverse students. Tiffany’s high level of professionalism and commitment to culturally and linguistically diverse students makes her a great candidate for recognition as one of Colorado’s top teacher candidates.

 

Student: Ashle' Tate
Institution: Colorado State University
Program: Bachelor’s in English Education
About Ashle': Ashle’ is passionate about equity and social justice and will be working toward a Master’s degree next year in the field of Equity and Education. When she arrived at Colorado State, Ashle’ dove into academic and service opportunities that have allowed her to give back to her community and world—even while enriching her own life. On Alternative Spring Break trips, she visited San Francisco to learn about the criminal justice system and Kansas City to volunteer with children recovering from abuse. Now she’s headed for Houston to understand the effects of hurricane damage on low-income schools. Her work has earned Ashle' multiple honors, including a bonus for outstanding leadership and academic achievement added to her CSU First Generation Award. She cares deeply about education and about culturally responsive pedagogies.

 

Student: Sarah McHugh
Institution: Colorado State University
Program: Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education
About Sarah: Sarah is by far one of the most dedicated and talented teacher candidates in the Early Childhood Education program at CSU. She excels in building individual relationships with children, leading small group literacy and math lessons and leading large group work. She has mastered the cycle of instruction and assessment in the context of developmentally appropriate practice and Colorado academic standards. Throughout her fieldwork experiences, Sarah has made meaningful connections with families and is incredibly personable. She also demonstrates strong leadership skills and regularly contributes her ideas to discussions, which has set her up for success during co-teaching experiences.

 

Student: Tyler Houston
Institution: Colorado State University-Global
Program: Master of Science in Teaching & Learning, Science Licensure
About Tyler: Tyler recently completed his Science Licensure internship through CSU Global. Throughout this time, he served students at Drake Middle School and Windy Peak Outdoor Lab School, augmenting his bachelor's degree in Integrative Biology and Minor in Astrophysics with teacher licensure. Tyler has also begun a master's degree in Chemistry. Throughout his internship, he has demonstrated a high degree of intentionality with regard to student planning for active engagement, formative assessment as a tool for guiding and adjusting instruction, and differentiation and scaffolding to accommodate the strengths and needs of diverse learners. Furthermore, Tyler demonstrates a passion for science education that extends outside the traditional classroom, as he has served in various roles for Jefferson County Outdoor Education since 2012 and supported curriculum work at CU Denver.

 

Student: Nicole Stewart
Institution: Colorado State University-Global
Program: Master of Science in Teaching & Learning, Math Licensure
About Nicole: Nicole has consistently demonstrated a high degree of excellence in all of course coursework, continually examining her work in the classroom and reflecting on her practices. She demonstrated a philosophy of education that promotes student-centered learning opportunities, including strategies such as establishing norms and routines, modeling, formative assessment and timely feedback. Beyond her work at CSU-Global, Nicole has demonstrated a strong dedication to teaching and coaching as she served in the role of teaching assistant, math tutor, and peer mentor at the Colorado School of Mines. Furthermore, she has served as the President for the Society of Women in Mathematics.

 

Student: Erica Switzer
Institution: Colorado State University-Pueblo
Program: Liberal Studies
About Erica: Erica Switzer, a transplant to Colorado, has been an incredible asset to the Colorado State University - Pueblo's Teacher Education Program. Her life experiences as both a mother and Army veteran have given her an outlook on life and teaching that is refreshing. Through her time in the program, Erica has served in many capacities, including being a mentor, an active member in the Teacher Education Association and student support in the Curriculum Center. As a student in the Teacher Pipeline Project, Erica has consistently looked for ways to engage and motivate her students throughout her time at Franklin, and teachers at her school say they enjoy Erica's presence at the school.

 

Student: Candice Trujillo
Institution: Colorado State University-Pueblo
Program: Bachelor’s in Special Education and Elementary Education
About Candice: Candice is a Pueblo native and the embodiment of Colorado State University - Pueblo Teacher Education Program's mission: to develop teachers of quality and distinction. Candice is a graduate of Pueblo City Schools and is a first-generation Hispanic student. Candice applied for and was accepted to the Teacher Pipeline Project, a mutual project between the Teacher Education Program and Pueblo City Schools. In this setting, Candice has flourished as perhaps the top student teacher in her group. Hardworking, determined and passionate, Candice is the embodiment of what we all should want teachers to be.

 

Student: Mallory Peterson
Institution: Fort Lewis College
Program: Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
About Mallory: Mallory is from Centennial and has excelled in every way at Fort Lewis College in the Elementary Education teacher licensure program. She continuously goes out of her way to tutor in the most rural parts of our region, choosing to student teach a fifth grade class at Animas Valley Elementary School. Her children's literature instructor commented that she traveled to Dulce, New Mexico to complete her practicum hours with the Jicarilla Apache kids just to get a different perspective. Mallory is devoted to teaching in the most diverse and rural parts of the state with enthusiasm unparalleled in FLC's program and perhaps in the state.

 

Student: Jana Thompson
Institution: Friends School
Program: Elementary Education License
About Jana: Jana has been in the early childhood education field for several years but decided this past year to educate herself further by obtaining her elementary teaching license. Upon applying to the program, she came highly recommended by past employers and co-workers. She approaches all tasks with enthusiasm and a huge smile. The high expectations she sets for herself are always met and often exceeded. Overall, she is a learner and enjoys sharing the learning process with her students and colleagues.

 

Student: Melanie Wetmore
Institution: Friends School
Program: Elementary Education License
About Melanie: Melanie obtained her B.S. in Environmental Studies at UVM in 2015. Before and since then, she has had some experience working with students in informal settings. Through these experiences, Melanie realized that she wanted to pursue a career in teaching. Melanie is already a solid teacher, even though her candidacy year is not complete. She takes every opportunity to advance her practice, whether volunteering for additional tasks at her partner school or researching a topic to fill in knowledge gaps. She is highly regarded by her mentor teacher and other staff at her partner school because of her collaboration efforts and strong work ethic.

 

Student: Allison Lloyd
Institution: PEBC Boettcher Teacher Residency
Program: Elementary Education
About Allison: Throughout her residency year, Allison has demonstrated the qualities we all value in educators: she is passionate, kind, enthusiastic, flexible, responsive and incredibly engaging. Her students were captivated by her energy, and her coaches and instructors are consistently impressed by her dedication. Allison’s mentors say she will go on to elevate the profession and profoundly impact students' lives.

 

Student: Dusty Mars
Institution: PEBC Boettcher Teacher Residency
Program: License in Secondary Math
About Dusty: Dusty completed a degree from Colorado School of Mines and had a successful career in the oil and gas industry before deciding to give back to his local community by becoming a teacher. In addition to his teaching duties, Dusty is a rancher, father and foster father to six children of his own. Dusty has embraced the teaching profession with a passion. He is committed to making math relevant and accessible to his students. Dusty has created a positive classroom environment where success is celebrated on a regular basis. He is continually looking for solutions to teaching challenges and seeks to improve his practice through reflection, research and deep questioning. Dusty strives every day to bring his best self to the classroom and teaching profession.

 

Student: Sarah Pettis
Institution: PEBC Boettcher Teacher Residency
Program: License in Elementary Education
About Sarah: Sarah graduated last spring with a degree in child development and decided to become a teacher, joining the Boettcher Teacher Residency's 2017 Southwest cohort. From the start Sarah has shown perseverance, grit and determination. Although she has been repeatedly challenged, Sarah continues to approach her teaching with a growth mindset, focusing on improving her practice and implementing the strategies and structures she is investigating through the BTR residency program. Sarah has overcome personal and professional struggles to bring the best to her students, which she has done with grace, humility and compassion.

 

Student: Courtney Brown
Institution: Littleton Public Schools
Program: Teacher Cadets
About Courtney: An ideal high school student, Courtney consistently contributes to class discussions by sharing insightful answers, asking intriguing questions and articulating valuable comments. She is well respected by both her teachers and her peers. She is a National Honors Society member with a cumulative GPA above 3.75, including honors and AP courses, while participating in sports, church activities, and other extracurricular activities. Courtney’s face lights up when she is working with children. Her love of education is evident and her joy contagious sharing in the learning process. She is caring, intuitive and perceptive in meeting student needs. She truly is one of the best and brightest who will make a top quality teacher with her creativity, talent, love for children and her deep belief system rooted in the value and equality of all people.

 

Student: Krissa Baseggio
Institution: Regis University
Program: Bachelor’s in Math, Secondary Teaching License in Math
About Krissa: Krissa is a graduating senior and honors student from Regis University. She is completing her student-teaching at Westminster High School, where she'll also begin a new position this fall as a math teacher. In addition to completing her B.A. in mathematics and her secondary teaching license, this spring Krissa finished her honors thesis, which examined the overidentification of English language learners in special education. Krissa is an outstanding student, maintaining a 4.0 while completing a rigorous course of studies in the honors program. In her student-teaching this semester, Krissa has demonstrated an ability and passion for teaching that is beyond her years as a novice teacher.

 

Student: Sasha Green
Institution: Relay Graduate School of Education
Program: License in Elementary Education
About Sasha: Sasha grew up in Houston and, after graduating from college in Tennessee, moved to Denver. This school year she is participating in the Rocky Mountain Prep Teaching Fellowship and serves as a Rocky Mountain Prep Creekside Fellow in a kindergarten class. Sasha is also in her first year of Relay Graduate School of Education’s Master of Arts in Teaching program and earned Dean’s List honors this past semester. To increase her impact on students, Sasha focuses on continuously increasing her own effectiveness. She thoughtfully participates in class and shares insightful connections between the coursework and her own teaching experiences. She also seeks out feedback and immediately implements action steps to improve her own practice.

 

Student: Analisse Nava
Institution: Relay Graduate School of Education
Program: License in Secondary Education, Science
About Analisse: Analisse is a Denver native who graduated from the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) at Stapleton before attending Colorado State University. She has been working as an apprentice science teacher at DSST’s Green Valley Ranch middle school this year while also working toward her Master’s of Arts in Teaching at Relay Graduate School of Education. Analisse earned Dean’s list honors last semester for her phenomenal work at both DSST and at Relay and will be teaching as a lead teacher at DSST Green Valley Ranch Middle School in the fall. Her passion for teaching science has been incredibly apparent this year, as has her dedication for developing her practice. She has earned the respect of both her students and colleagues through her relentless work ethic, her dedication to seeking out and implementing feedback, and her willingness to go the extra mile to support her students.

 

Student: Jennifer Van Vorst
Institution: Regis University
Program: Master’s in Education, Special Education with Licensure
About Jennifer: As a student and scholar, Jennifer sets herself apart from her classmates in the area of writing and research. She is currently working with a faculty member to co-author a manuscript on applying research methods in the classroom. Although Jennifer feels she has taken a long and winding road to get to this place in her life, she feels that becoming a special education teacher is her destiny. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from UC Davis, an M.A. in TESOL from Portland State University, and completed doctorate-level work in Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. It is clear to all instructors and educators she encounters that she will provide an educational experience to her students that will not only meet their needs, but also enable them to develop the skills they need to be successful in school and life.

 

Student: Alita Smith
Institution: University of Colorado
Program: Bachelor’s in English and Secondary English Licensure
About Alita: Alita Smith is a compassionate and inspired educator who completed her student teaching at Casey Middle School in Boulder Valley School District. During her time in the program, she cultivated strong commitments to equity and justice. Those commitments consistently guide her teaching, which positions students as agents of change with powerful ideas and beliefs about the world and supports them to use literacy as a tool for engaging critically with important social issues. She will graduate this spring with a degree in English and licensure. She is and will continue to be a stellar teacher who makes a positive impact on the lives of young people.

 

Student: Brenda Ortiz Torres
Institution: University of Colorado
Program: Bachelor’s in Psychology and Elementary Licensure
About Brenda: Brenda is graduating this spring with a B.A. in Psychology and has completed all requirements for her initial teaching license in elementary schools. She has been a leader in our elementary licensure program and been outstanding in her Student Teaching semester at STEM Launch in Adams 12 Five Star Schools. She has volunteered with the Boulder County Latino History Project and tutored in after-school programs. Her commitments to supporting emerging bilinguals and working in schools that serve under-served communities reflect the kind of teachers the program aims to put out into the world.

 

Student: Kaitlyn Ball
Institution: University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Program: Alternative Licensure Program
About Kaitlyn: Kaitlyn is from a small community in central Colorado. She has exemplified the highest standards of quality academic work throughout her degree program. She has served as a mentor and leader for other students due to her strong professional dispositions and commitment to ethical practice. In her field work, she has consistently been given the highest reviews and exceeded expectations her faculty and field supervisors. Feedback on Kaitlyn’s teaching and professional demeanor is among the most positive and glowing of any student. The warmth she brings to her classes make her a teacher her students will always remember.

 

Student: Marcus Pumphrey
Institution: University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Program: Alternative Licensure Program
About Marcus: Marcus grew up in Colorado Springs. He holds B.S. degrees in both Political Science and History from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs as well as an MBA from Everest University. An Army veteran, Marcus worked in student affairs in higher education before choosing teaching. He now teaches 6th grade social studies at Panorama Middle School in Harrison School District 2. Marcus has earned accolades from his administration and colleagues for being a “role model of professionalism.” In the classroom, Marcus demonstrates strong instructional skills, engaging his students with relevant, authentic lessons aimed at helping them to understand their roles and responsibilities in a democracy. He holds his students to high standards, not only for their behavior, thinking and performance, but also for their aspirations.

 

Student: Vany Miramontes Marquez
Institution: University of Colorado Denver
Program: Elementary Education with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement
About Vany: Vany is a deep and sharp thinker who has a passion for culturally and linguistically diverse education. Her practice is guided by aiming to become the teacher that she needed when she was younger as a multilingual learner in an urban community. Next year she will be team lead teaching 4th grade English language acquisition teamn at Munroe Elementary School. She has plans to continue her education so as to earn a principal's license. Vany is an excellent student who has a keen grasp of knowledge, skills and dispositions essential for being an effective educator. She is a confident, capable and caring educator who undoubtedly will have a significant and positive impact in the field of education.

 

Student: Nancy Pasillas
Institution: University of Colorado Denver
Program: Elementary Education with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Endorsement
About Nancy: Nancy is a sensitive and resourceful future educator with a passion for culturally and linguistically diverse education. Her family and teachers as are her number-one support system. As a DREAMer, she has had the tenacity to continue her education in the face of obstacles and anxiety. Her main goal is obtain principal's licensure; she was inspired by her elementary school principal Brenda Kazin at Place Bridge Academy. She is reflective and able to constantly improve based on feedback. She will be tremendous asset to field of education.

 

Student: Ivan Hernandez
Institution: University of Colorado Denver
Program: Pathways2Teaching
About Ivan: Ivan is a senior at Abraham Lincoln High School. He has been part of the gifted and talented program for English and is graduating with 45 college credits. He is an active member of his school and community and has been involved in Pathways2Teaching, Colorado Uplift and the UCD Scholars Program. This year he has become an advocate in the Latino community, meeting with Congresswoman Diana DeGette about DACA and participating in Latino Advocacy Day at the state capitol. Ivan plans to participate in the ASCENT program through the Community College of Denver next year. His dream is to become a history teacher at a high school in his community.

 

Student: Joselyn Garcia-Moreno
Institution: University of Colorado Denver
Program: Pathways2Teaching
About Joselyn: Joselyn is a senior at Abraham Lincoln High School and is ranked in the top 10 of her graduating class. Joselyn has been active in many different programs throughout high school, including Pathways2Teaching, Colorado Uplift, the UCD Pre-Collegiate Development Program and UCD Scholars. She is an athlete, serving as the captain of the Varsity Tennis Team, and is the president of the Dance Club. She is graduating with 38 college credits and plans to go to the University of Colorado Denver next year, where she will pursue a degree in Mathematics and Secondary Education. Her dream is to return to Lincoln High School as a math teacher.

 

Student: Rhett Gutierrez
Institution: University of Denver
Program: Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction
About Rhett: Rhett teaches primarily sophomores at a high school with innovation status in Denver Public School District. He graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in Political Science and Public Policy before enrolling in the Curriculum and Instruction Master’s Program at DU. He teaches with an infectious energy and strives to empower his students to effect change in their lives as well as the lives of others. Iin his words, he sees education "as the ultimate equalizer in a society of privilege and disproportionate struggle." As a teacher, he recognizes the importance of giving space for students to express their opinions as they wade through difficult topics such as immigration policies.

 

Student: Arberesha Neziri
Institution: University of Denver
Program: Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction
About Arberesha: Arberesha Neziri is originally from Texas and earned a B.S. in Biology from St. Edward's University in 2014. She is currently completing her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. She holds a year-long apprentice teaching position at Denver South High School, and she is a math tutor on the side. Arberesha has a deep commitment to her students and holds herself to a very high standard. She genuinely seeks out feedback from me and from her mentor teacher, and she asks important questions to get to the next level in her teaching. Arberesha is not afraid to try new things to meet the needs of her students, and at Denver South, that includes newcomers and ELLs from many different parts of the world, students with interrupted learning, students with special education IEPs, and honors/AP students. Due to her success this year, she has already been hired as a full time science teacher at Denver South for the 2018-19 school year.

 

Student: Clark Goering
Institution: University of Northern Colorado
Program: Bachelor's in Music Education
About Clark: Clark, from Broomfield, will graduate in May. He is now completing his student teaching at Liberty High School in Colorado Springs, where he has been working with their renowned band program. An accomplished euphoniumist, Mr. Goering has performed extensively, having played in numerous UNC bands, jazz ensembles and chamber groups. A natural leader, Clark has shown great enthusiasm in his teaching, earning the admiration of the students with whom he has worked. His willingness to work hard and share the joy of music with others will undoubtedly bode well for his future teaching career.

 

Student: Elizabeth Scarselli
Institution: University of Northern Colorado
Program: Bachelor's in Music Education
About Elizabeth: Elizabeth, from Loveland, Colorado, will graduate this spring. She is currently completing her student teaching at Fort Collins High School, where she has worked with their renowned choir program. Elizabeth has performed in both musicals and operas as a vocalist, including appearances with the Loveland Opera Theatre. She travels locally and internationally with state and university choirs, and this summer will be venturing to Germany as a performer and Chorus Master for Opera Classica Europa. When she is not in a classroom or in rehearsals, she is conducting university projects, local choirs, and various small chamber ensembles.

 

Student: Joe Baffoe
Institution: West Central
Program: Alternative Teaching License
About Joe: Joe joined education this year after working for 12 years as a chemical engineer. He is teaching freshman math courses at Montrose High School and stands out as a new teacher. He is incredibly attentive to detail, he submits his work in a timely manner, and he is very open to learning new and better ways of teaching. He is doing a great job of forming relationships with his students and has received great feedback from his mentor and principal. He has great potential to be an excellent teacher.

 

Student: Ashlyn Jones
Institution: West Central
Program: Alternative Teaching License
About Ashlyn: Ashlyn is a young teacher who is teaching a large class of kindergartners this year for the first time. Incredibly hard working, she is not only teaching for the first time and participating in an alternative licensure program, but also pursuing a master’s degree. She submits high quality work for her assignments and meets all deadlines. In addition, she has a cheerful disposition and is very open to learning about how to be a better teacher. Her mentors have said she would thrive as a teacher in any grade.

 

Student: Kyla Taylor
Institution: Western Colorado State University
Program: Master of Arts in Education
About Kyla: Kyla did not begin her undergraduate career with the desire to become a teacher. In fact, she didn’t really know what she wanted to do – all Kyla knew was that she loved science. As an undergraduate student, Kyla worked as a Supplemental Instruction Leader and a Laboratory Teaching Assistant. She loved sharing her knowledge with others; even more, she loved instilling in them a sense of confidence and curiosity. This realization lead Kyla to enroll in a master’s program and begin her student teaching at DSST: Stapleton High School. As a student teacher, she displays professionalism, effective planning and practice, and her passion for students and education shines through in everything she does.