Language Culture and Equity Director of the Year
Holly Porter, director of the English Language Acquisition department in Cherry Creek School District, has more than 15 years of specialized experience and expertise in the field of bilingual/bicultural education, special education, and English language acquisition. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Special Education: Moderate Needs and Deaf Education, an Educational Specialist degree in educational leadership, and a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado.
Dr. Porter’s experience spans from prek-12, having served as a bilingual 2nd grade teacher, a bilingual Title 1 teacher, a bilingual kindergarten teacher, a preschool teacher of the deaf, a high school American Sign Language teacher, a kindergarten teacher, and an ESL teacher. She has also led in the role of a district SPED bilingual diagnostician, has been an ELA program coordinator, and has served at the state level at the Colorado Department of Education as the Principal Consultant for English Language Learners with Exceptional Needs. Dr. Porter is also an adjunct professor for Regis University, University of Colorado and Adams State University.
Language Culture and Equity Educators of the Year
Jessica Cooney has been a teacher for 15 years. She is currently the teacher for District 6 Newcomer Program for high school students, housed at Greeley West High School. She is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. She is also the director of Greeley El Teatro, a multilingual theatre company which allows high school students to tell their stories through theatre both in English and in their native languages. She is also a co-sponsor of the Greeley Young Authors Program which has published 3 books created by high school students using their personal stories, artwork, and photography. She has great passion for getting her students’ families involved in their education and empowering refugee and immigrant families. Jessica has been married to her husband Jon for 11 years and has 2 daughters, Maya and Camden.
Maggie Falconi, a native of Ecuador in South America, Maggie grew up meeting people and travelers from all over the world. This inspired and instilled in her a desire to learn and educate people about the world. Upon graduating from the University of Austin in Texas, she decided to go into the travel business helping travelers book and journey into destinations all across the globe. Maggie wants to make a difference in the world for her students: to take a student and make him or her wonder; criticize: and analyze; to think about not problems but solutions; to approach concepts and situations in a different manner unique to each of them; to make others become teachers and mentors, business people and politicians, workers and secretaries – all with a sense of commitment and community to see that through education and idea sharing each of us can make a difference in the world.