Moffat County teacher honored as Peabody Educator of the Year |

Moffat County teacher honored as Peabody Educator of the Year

Lauren Blair
Sunset Elementary School teacher and literacy coordinator Melany Neton works with her second-grade students on a reading lesson. Neton was the recipient of the 2015 Peabody Energy Educator of the Year Award, which she was honored with at a banquet earlier this month.
Courtesy Photo

— Sunset Elementary School teacher and literacy coordinator Melany Neton was honored as Peabody Energy Educator of the Year at an awards banquet held earlier this month.

The award is given to only one teacher in the Yampa Valley each year, and comes with a $5,000 prize.

This year marks the second year in a row that Moffat County School District has brought home the award, with the honor last year going to Maybell School and Ridgeview Elementary School teacher Bill Ronis.

A teacher of 23 years, Neton has taught kindergarten, first- and second-grades at Sunset Elementary School for five years following 13 years in the Hayden School District.

“I most love that… each student is different and you have to kind of unlock them as a puzzle to see what’s going to spark their learning and their interests,” she said.

Neton is passionate about learning herself, and takes advantage of every opportunity she gets to grow as a teacher. This is one of the reasons Sunset Elementary School Principal Jill Hafey nominated her for the award, and also one of the reasons Neton moved into the position of literacy coordinator this year for kindergarten through second-grade.

“She’s just that person that goes above and beyond all the time,” Hafey said. “Her ability to research and find what is truly best for kids instead of sinking into a rut of doing what has always been done… (She’s) really finding what’s best for our students and our parents.”

Neton is deeply embedded in the school district beyond the hours she spends in the classroom. Her husband, Jim Neton, is a teacher at Moffat County High School, and the couple has four school-age children in grades two through nine. When Melany gets a 4:30 a.m. start a couple times per week to prepare and do research, Jim cooks breakfast for the kids.

“I definitely think we provide a unique support to each other,” Neton said. “Really, I couldn’t do it without him.”

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

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