Sandrock Elementary School teacher Michele Conroy accepts the 2011 CEA Award during the Colorado Education Association Delegate Assembly on Saturday in Denver. Conroy was chosen from among 40,000 members to receive the association’s highest honor.

Mike Wetzel/Courtesy

Sandrock Elementary School teacher Michele Conroy accepts the 2011 CEA Award during the Colorado Education Association Delegate Assembly on Saturday in Denver. Conroy was chosen from among 40,000 members to receive the association’s highest honor.

Sandrock teacher wins statewide award

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Sandrock Elementary School teacher Michele Conroy addresses her second-grade students during a reading session Tuesday. Conroy is this year’s winner of the Colorado Education Association’s highest honor — the CEA Award.

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Sandrock Elementary School teacher Michele Conroy shares a laugh with her second-grade students Tuesday. Conroy was recently singled out among 40,000 members of the Colorado Education Association to receive the 2011 CEA Award.

Every year, the Colorado Education Association picks one of its roughly 40,000 members for its highest honor.

On Saturday, during an awards ceremony in Denver, the CEA bestowed that honor on one of Moffat County’s own.

Michele Conroy, a second-grade teacher at Sandrock Elementary School, received the 2011 CEA Award.

“I received a wonderful, beautiful acknowledgment,” Conroy said of the event.

According to a press release from the CEA, the award is “given to a member of our association in recognition of outstanding service to public education.”

The release cites Conroy’s skills as a teacher, leadership in the Moffat County Education Association and her work with state legislators as reasons for the award.

Conroy’s presence in Moffat County School District began in 1990 as special education teacher at Sunset Elementary School. In 2004, Conroy began teaching second grade at Sunset.

In 2009, when Sandrock Elementary School opened its doors, Conroy changed schools. Today, she continues to teach second-graders at Sandrock.

Conroy has also been deeply involved in the CEA.

From 2008 to 2010, Conroy served as the president of the MCEA, a local chapter of the CEA. Today, she represents a conglomeration of 14 Colorado school districts — the Ski Country UniServ Unit — as a member of the CEA’s board of directors.

Conroy said her work for the Ski Country UniServ Unit allows her to speak on behalf of rural teachers.

“I really take pride in making the legislators aware that what’s good for the Front Range and the larger school districts is not always conducive to what is being experienced at the rural level,” she said. “Our voice in Moffat County means something.”

As part of her rural advocacy, Conroy helped bolster state funding for Moffat County schools, according to the release.

“As CEA legislative liaison to Sens. Jack Taylor and Al White, Michele worked diligently on school funding through the Mill Levy Stabilization Act,” the release states.

Conroy said the legislative process as difficult.

“That was months of work,” she said. “Lots of miles and talks going back and forth.”

Conroy is also part of the Quality Teacher Commission — a state organization that seeks to narrow the achievement gap between higher- and lower-income students.

Above all, however, Conroy said she is most proud of the relationship the MCEA shares with the district administration.

“I’m very proud that our local association and the administration have open communication and relationship with one another,” she said. “There are many districts in the state that don’t even have contract language where they can sit down and talk to one another.”

District Superintendent Joe Petrone agreed the relationship between the administration and the MCEA is unique.

“I credit a lot of that to Michele, and her willingness and openness to meet on a regular basis,” Petrone said of Conroy’s tenure as MCEA president.

In getting to know Conroy as president, Petrone also witnessed Conroy as teacher.

“I went to her classroom frequently, so I had a chance to interact with her not only as president of MCEA, but as a highly effective teacher,” he said. “She’s a proficient, devoted, versatile teacher.”

Conroy said her leadership roles will be winding down in the future. Due to term limitations, Conroy’s position on the CEA board will end in June, and her involvement with the Quality Teacher Commission will end after another year.

But, she plans to stay involved in the classroom.

“I really want to focus on student achievement here at Sandrock Elementary and doing what’s best for kids,” she said.

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Comments

justthefacts 2 years, 11 months ago

Fact: A teacher that lives in Steamboat Springs, ( Where some of the best schools in the state are.) and works in Craig at the Sandrock School ( Which is one of the worst performing schools in the state) is given an award ( by the State Union ) for union activistism during school hours. ( while a sub- par- sub teaches her class at School district expense).

Question: This is a good thing???

Fact: At least the expences for driving to Denver for lobbying are cheaper when a person starts in Steamboat Springs vs Craig. ( Who is paying anyway???)

Just The School is out Facts

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daisymay 2 years, 11 months ago

Just the facts, I think you need to recheck these said facts! First this award was given on a Saturday, not during school hours so there was no sub covering her class room. Next, Mrs. Conroy is an excellent teacher who more than deserves this award. I have seen her interact with students and she is amazing. Also many teachers in this district live in Steamboat and commute to Craig, they have been for years (I guess it’s not so bad here after all.) While yes Sandrock is not the highest scoring school, it is also the newest and has some amazing teachers. So Just the facts, maybe you should spend less time complaining to a computer and more time getting involved. Go visit a school, volunteer in a classroom get to know these teachers you are talking about!

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happyone 2 years, 11 months ago

Just the Facts, Really? What do you have against this teacher? She has spent many unpaid hours to help this district, in many different aspects. She has also worked for the district since the 90's. How else is she going to prove her loyalty to Moffat County? What would it take for you to understand...or really what would it take for you to just shut your mouth?

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cag81625 2 years, 11 months ago

JTF,

Not that you care, but some people are Actually passionate about helping others without Personal vendettas at All times.

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moffatresident 2 years, 11 months ago

I've figured out why JTF hates teachers. Apparently his teachers did not correctly teach him what a fact is and he is angry because he can't get it right.

JTF, just because you want something to be a fact or claim it is a fact does not make it a fact. Personal vendetta's and unsubstantiated opinions (which is what you actually write) are not facts. Since you didn't learn properly when you were in school we will all give you the benefit of the doubt, but to avoid confusion in the future I would suggest that you cyhange your moniker to "justnotfacts" from here on out, that would be consistent with your actual factless rants.

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