Paula Duzik, left, laughs while listening to Maureen Moore, of Peabody Energy, speak Friday at Moffat County High School. Duzik, a counselor at MCHS, was recognized as a Peabody Energy Leader in Education for the 2012-13 school year.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Paula Duzik, left, laughs while listening to Maureen Moore, of Peabody Energy, speak Friday at Moffat County High School. Duzik, a counselor at MCHS, was recognized as a Peabody Energy Leader in Education for the 2012-13 school year.

MCHS counselor Duzik receives Peabody award

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Paula Duzik has left her mark on thousands of students who have moved on from Moffat County in the past, and now she has been recognized for her leadership of the county’s youth.

Duzik, a counselor at Moffat County High School, was named a Peabody Energy Leader in Education for this school year. She was presented with gifts and $1,000 on Friday in the MCHS auditorium.

The Leaders in Education program rewards dedicated education professionals who inspire and motivate youth to succeed. Award recipients are selected throughout the school year by a committee of educators and business leaders.

At a school assembly Friday morning, Duzik was presented with a gift basket and a check for $1,000 as a thank you for her hard work. Peabody Program Director Maureen Moore talked about the importance of educators like Duzik.

“We find it to be very important that educators are recognized because they get up every day and come to work,” Moore said at the assembly. “They come every morning to make sure you have an opportunity to have a wonderful life.”

After surprising Duzik with the honor, Moore said it was an easy choice to pick her based on her application and recommendations.

“There are so many educators doing great things,” Moore said. Duzik "is leading the crowd right now, though. (She's) the meaning of success and the meaning of leadership.”

Duzik was instrumental in creating the Freshman Mentoring Program and a schoolwide advisory program at MCHS, both of which focus in part on career and future planning.

She was emotional after receiving the award, saying she got a bit overwhelmed.

“There are so many great educators in Moffat County, and I am really humbled to be recognized,” she said. “I feel very blessed.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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