These quotes were given by the Craig winners of the Peabody Energy Leaders in Education who are nominated for the Educator of the Year award, the recipient of which will be announced at a ceremony Saturday night at The Steamboat Grand.
"As a school counselor, much of my job is based on listening to others and leading them to solutions that are workable for them. I practice this with the students, parents and educators that I work with. Being heard is a basic need and when people feel like their opinion matters, it most often leads to positive relationships and productive collaboration.”
— Paula Duzik, Moffat County High School guidance counselor
"As math department chair and a teacher leader in my district, I believe in setting the example. I believe if I want to see change, I have to be the catalyst for change."
— Kristin Ingalls, Moffat County High School math teacher
"I believe in relevant, hands-on, big picture learning, and that I’m teaching children much more than content. The professional development opportunities I take advantage of allow me to bring ever-changing techniques back to my students and colleagues."
— Brynna Vogt, former Craig Middle School science teacher
Though they’ve each already received accolades in the past year, several teachers from Moffat County School District may receive an even larger honor this weekend.
The Peabody Energy Leaders in Education program will name its Educator of the Year for the 2012-2013 school year at 6 p.m. Saturday at The Steamboat Grand in Steamboat Springs. Those scheduled to attend include Colorado Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia and Kemal Williamson, Peabody Energy’s President of the Americas.
Among the 12 regional teachers and school staff members in the running for the award, all of whom received the Leader in Education distinction within the last year, are Moffat County High School Guidance Counselor Paula Duzik, MCHS math teacher Kristin Ingalls and former Craig Middle School science teacher Brynna Vogt.
Ingalls received the initial prize in November 2012, Duzik in March and Vogt in February.
Though the two members of the MCHS faculty will be attending the ceremony, Vogt will be unavailable, having relocated in August to teach at a school in India.
CMS Vice Principal Jill Hafey said the move was a dream of Vogt’s for the last two years.
“She’s an outstanding educator in so many forms,” Hafey said. “It’s amazing what she could turn into an activity.”
Though she is unsure if Vogt will be returning to Craig, Hafey said she expects her former coworker will make a difference wherever she teaches.
“I think we’ll be hearing some great things about her,” she said.
While at CMS, Vogt put together the CSI Craig class, worked on a recycling program and a school garden and started the first gifted and talented program, to name a few achievements.
Her fellow nominees also brought similar innovations to the high school. Duzik started MCHS’s Freshman Mentoring Program and has worked diligently with students and teachers using the tenets of the Individual Career and Academic Plan as a guide.
Likewise, Ingalls has used her position as chair of the school’s math department to better enrich students’ learning in the subject.
MCHS Principal Thom Schnellinger will be in attendance at the ceremony to cheer on the two of them.
“They’re both such outstanding staff members and they’re tireless in their work with students,” he said.
The winners of the initial Leaders in Education honor each took home a $1,000 prize. The recipient of Educator of the Year will win a $5,000 check.
Ingalls said if she wins, the funds will go right back to her own education.
“I’m finishing up my graduate studies, so I would put it toward my master’s degree,” she said.
Other nominees for Educator of the Year include teachers from Hayden and Steamboat, as well as a custodian and a library media specialist, both from Steamboat.
“I’m excited to go to the dinner and mingle with everybody, and it’s great that they recognize a whole range of people in education because everyone that works in a school deserves recognition,” Ingalls said.
Both Duzik and Ingalls said even if they don’t claim the title of Educator of the Year, being nominated is honor enough.
“I was really shocked when I won the first time, so I would love to see any of us win,” Ingalls said.
Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.