DENVER – The Colorado Department of Education today announced six finalists for the 2019 Colorado Teacher of the Year competition with the sole finalist to be announced by Nov. 1.
“Colorado values the commitment and dedication of all of the state’s educators who every day make a difference in the lives of children,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “These six finalists are all innovative leaders in their school communities and compassionate and inspiring educators in their classrooms.
The Colorado Teacher of the Year program is a statutorily required position to annually acknowledge an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled K-12 classroom teacher to represent the entire profession in Colorado. The Colorado Teacher of the Year automatically becomes Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition. The National Teacher of the Year Program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The 2019 finalists for Colorado Teacher of the Year are:
Nellie Thomson (West Grand School, West Grand School District)
Nellie Thomson teaches third grade and is passionate about motivating individuals to become lifelong learners and successful adults. Ms. Thomson encourages student leaders in the classroom through her ambassador program and authentic learning within project-based learning units. She is not only a passionate classroom teacher, she mentors new teachers, leads
Kelly Cvanciger (Bear Creek High School, Jefferson County)
Kelly Cvanciger has taught several subjects at Bear Creek since 2002, including AP world history, AP government and politics, U.S. government, geography, world history, mock trial, French I and II and National History Day. Ms. Cvancigar is a question leader for the College Board Advanced Placement World History leadership team and is the regional coordinator for the Greater Denver Metro National History Day contest. She advocates for vulnerable student populations including students with disabilities, mental health issues and family hardships in an effort to address the needs of the whole child.
Margaret Cypress (Bradley International School, Denver Public Schools)
Margaret Cypress has taught in DPS since 2003 and was hired to be the reading specialist at Bradley Elementary School. She was part of a staff that brought the International Baccalaureate Program’s Primary Years Programme to Bradley. Ms. Cypress also has organized family events at the school, such as Math Night, Cardboard Challenge and Science Night at Bradley. In addition, she started a summer camp with more than 150 students to raise money for science supplies.
Katie Goldsberry (Longmont Estates Elementary, St. Vrain Valley School District)
Katie Goldsberry – known as “Mrs. G” – prides herself on establishing positive relationships and classroom community above all else. She is knowledgeable about content standards and instructional best practices and weaves the arts and movement into everyday lessons. Mrs. G supports the needs of her students and encourages them to continue learning in partnership with their own passions and ideas. She is passionate about public education and believes everyone plays a role in the success of the future generation.
Amy Jones (Sunset Elementary, Moffat County RE-1)
Amy Jones has taught kindergarten in Craig for nine years. A love of literacy and authentic learning inspires her to develop projects that bridge the community and the rest of the world to her young learners. Ms. Jones not only builds relationships within her community but also with teachers worldwide. She uses Twitter and Skype to help show her students life outside of rural western Colorado. She believes in the power of connecting students to their community and the world, connecting teachers to teachers for collaboration, and the importance of connecting teachers and families.
Nathan Pearsall (Vista Ridge High School, District 49)
Nathan Pearsall teaches AP U.S. history, critical thinking and is implementing a gifted and talented program at Vista Ridge High School. Additionally, Nathan has been an instructional coach, department chair, student council adviser, and coach of both soccer and track. He is also a member of the Colorado Commissioner’s Teacher Cabinet. His passion is the retention of quality educators in Colorado. Nathan became a teacher due to his family’s rich tradition of teaching through the generations and he feels it is his calling in life to help advance the lives of others through teaching.