Most Boettcher scholars agree they wouldn’t be where they are today without great teachers.
That’s why the Boettcher Foundation created the Teacher Recognition Awards Program.
Foundation trustees wanted to give Boettcher scholars a chance to extend their gratitude to the counselors, principals, superintendents and, in particular, teachers who have dedicated themselves to providing the youth of Colorado with an outstanding education. Each of the 40 Boettcher Scholars for 2014 nominated a teacher who made a significant contribution to his/her growth and education.
DHS graduate Haley Donathan recognized Gloria Muñoz, a teacher at Garnet Mesa Elementary School. Reilly Quist, 2014 graduate of the Vision Charter Academy, honored Dick Nunamaker. PHS graduate Will Austin nominated his English teacher, Krissy Allen (see last week’s issue).
Recipients of the Teacher Recognition Award are recognized at a dinner in their honor and receive a plaque commemorating their award. They also receive a $1,000 grant to be used toward an educational program or project to benefit students at their schools.
At the recognition dinner, Reilly Quist said, “I have been extremely privileged throughout my life to have been taught by a multitude of amazing teachers, but the teacher I chose for this incredible honor went above and beyond anything expected of a teacher, time and time again to help me. Not many students have the opportunity, or the fortune, to be taught by someone of Dr. Nunamaker’s caliber for one year, let alone over an eight-year period of time.”
She highlighted several significant career accomplishments, but said the reason she chose him is because of his passion for teaching and individual attention.
“One year, Dr. Nunamaker put together a public health entomology class because he knew I wanted to be a physician and work with Doctors Without Borders. He showed me that I can do anything I set my mind to. Because of him I am ready to start the journey to accomplish my grandest dreams. There is not a doubt in my mind that without his support, teaching, and input, I wouldn’t be standing before you today.”
Gloria Muñoz was the only elementary teacher recognized. She now teaches English Language Learners at Garnet Mesa Elementary.
At the recognition dinner, Haley said, “There are many teachers who are great inside the classroom but in 13 years of school I have yet to come across a teacher who has invested in her students, both in and out of the classroom, as much as Mrs. Muñoz. I had the pleasure of having Mrs. Muñoz as both my first and second grade teacher at Garnet Mesa Elementary. During these two years she taught me the value of hard work. She taught me that with a little bit of dedication and effort I could achieve anything I set my mind to. Without this lesson I would not be where I am today. Being smaller than most of my first grade classmates and definitely not the strongest, I thought I would never be able to do the monkey bars. Mrs. Muñoz, always wanting her students to achieve, spent the limited free time she got outside during recess helping me to swing across the monkey bars. She was outside almost every day for probably close to a month until I had mastered them. She never gave up on me and taught me to never give up on myself and this is
something I will never forget. Mrs. Muñoz was there at piano recitals, church musicals, took me to the county rodeo, she switched teams during a missions trip to Mexico because I wanted to work with her, and she was sitting in the front at my high school graduation smiling — proud of all of the students she had 10 years ago.”