The 2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year finalists are:
Melisa Maes-Johnson, Heaton Middle School, Pueblo City Schools. Maes-Johnson is a middle school teacher with 17 years of teaching experience. As a middle school teacher for the last 12 years, she has held many roles. From math department chair to teaching in the Lindamood-Bell program, she has been a member of the literature and composition department at Heaton for six years, teaching 7th- and 8th-grade students. Maes-Johnson says her biggest accomplishment is rooted in her ability to reflect on teaching and learning to create an effective learning experience for her students.
Elizabeth Miner, Fitzsimmons Middle School, Platte Canyon School District. Miner is a middle school physical education teacher and has been at Fitzsimmons Middle School for seven years, where she focuses on cross-curricular core skill development. She is as aggressive with academics in and out of her class as she is with physical activity and says her greatest love is the daily privilege to guide her students down the right path. Miner enjoys teaching students the skills they need to become successful, self-sufficient, healthy and active adults.
Susan Tipton, Bricker Elementary School, Harrison School District. Tipton is an elementary school teacher and has been at Bricker Elementary School for six years. Tipton focuses her time and energy in creating a safe environment, having students take ownership in their behavior and learning, planning and delivering quality instruction. She stresses the importance of community and the role it plays in students’ lives, making it her goal to be an active participant and role model in her own community. Tipton has implemented Title I parent nights, “Reading Is Fun” community events and is also a part of the school wellness team, where she helped organized a community wide 5K race.
The Teacher of the Year will be announced in late October and is chosen by a committee comprised of a variety of individuals from the education community. The recipient becomes the Colorado nominee for National Teacher of the Year honors and serves as a teaching ambassador to communities and organizations around the state and nation.