Today, we kick off Teacher Appreciation Week by honoring six teachers around the Denver metro area that are making a difference for their students, despite their physical classrooms being closed.
This week's Team of the Week is Anna Cole (Schultz), Joaquin Reyes, Kyle Murray, Reina Cruz, Gretchen Milner, and Mike Rogers.
Read the incredible stories of these teachers below, and send us your nominees for our future Team of the Week announcements here!
Anna Cole (Schultz) is a fourth grade teacher at Central Elementary School in Commerce City and was nominated by the school principals, Ryan Green and Deana Valadez.
"Anna has worked hard all year to collaborate with our external consultant and to bring her new learning to her teammates and grade level counterparts across the district," Green and Valadez said. "She never hesitates to jump in when needed. When we transitioned to online learning, I asked her to be a Teacher Leader who supports grade four teachers across the district, and she was more than willing. This is especially exceptional because Anna has a tendency not to put herself 'out there' even though she has so many great skills and so much knowledge. I was so proud of her for accepting this new challenge.”
Joaquin Reyes is a second and third grade bilingual literacy teacher at Central Elementary School in Commerce City and was nominated by the school principals, Ryan Green and Deana Valadez.
"Joaquin has worked in our district for many years. He is an exceptional teacher who is committed to student achievement and growth." Green and Valadez said. "Not only is he a STAR teacher, he is also always willing to participate in supporting other teachers in their growth. He, too, is acting as a Teacher Leader for the district during this new online learning.”
Kyle Murray is a science teacher and girls basketball coach at Northfield High School and was nominated by the principal, Amy Bringedahl.
"Mr. Murray is a prominent teacher in the Northfield community. He is well liked by his students both current and former," Bringedahol said. "Mr. Murray works tirelessly to make his class engaging, and it is an integral part to a student’s learning path while at Northfield. Kyle works on a year-round basis for our annual Freshmen Academy to ensure that it is a pivotal piece to welcoming our Nighthawks into the community to ensure as smooth as transition as possible from middle school. He is also is at the helm of all things AVID as our site coordinator and model electives teacher. Mr. Murray is also a successful Nighthawk girls’ basketball coach where his team learns important life lessons that go far beyond the court. Thank you, Mr. Murray, for being such a champion of all Northfield students!”
Reina Cruz is a social studies teacher and the head of the Student Board of Education at Northfield High School and was nominated by the principal at NHS, Amy Bringedahl.
“Reina Cruz has quickly become a key figure in the Northfield community," Bringedahol said. "She meets students on their level and propels them to heights that they did not think was possible. Ms. Cruz has become a confidant for many of her students, and her classroom is a safe space where students feel comfortable taking risks and that is where the true learning occurs. Ms. Cruz is a beacon for student voice and innovative leadership as seen in the great work she does with Student Board of Education and other student-led initiatives. Truly, she is an energizer at Northfield and pushes us all to do better for our kids.”
Gretchen Milner is an english teacher at Adams City High School and was nominated by the principal, Jacob Katz.
"Gretchen Milner put in countless hours to support her students to be more successful," Katz said. "In addition to being incredible classroom teacher, she support our students and school by volunteering her time at school events and clubs. Adams City High School is blessed to have her.”
Mike Rogers is an art teacher at Adams City High School and was nominated by the principal, Jacob Katz.
"Mike Rogers puts in countless hours to support his students to be more successful," Katz said. "In addition to being incredible classroom teachers, he support our students and school by volunteering his time at school events and clubs. Adams City High School is blessed to have him.”