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Colorado Teacher of the Year - 2002

Deborah Johnston
English, Grades 9-12
Eaglecrest High School
Cherry Creek School District 5

Deborah Johnston, Eaglecrest High School

Deborah Johnston
Eaglecrest High School

Deborah Johnston teaches all levels of English at Eaglecrest High School. Virginia White, English Coordinator at the school, best describes Deborah by saying, "Although she reaches all ability levels, she especially touches in a positive way the lives of those lost souls no one else has been able to reach. She's demanding and presents a no nonsense attitude with her students; she will not tolerate lack of effort or failure."

In her 12 years of teaching, Deborah has developed dozens of strategies to help reluctant learners experience a sense of accomplishment and work toward larger goals. She spends hours each night color-coding individual essays so students can see what a well-written essays looks like. Her system includes a red introduction, a purple conclusion and green transitional phrases. Students are armed with a weekly homework syllabus and a rubric so that they know exactly what is expected.

Deborah takes her involvement with her students beyond the classroom. Often times you can find her at sporting events, recitals and plays that include her students. These students always receive positive feedback from Deborah. Through her church, she founded a tutorial and mentoring program for ethnic-minority students to promote positive peer pressure and academic success.

Somehow Deborah also finds time to mentor new teachers and work with educators in her district as well as other districts. According to Barbara Thorngren, Eaglecrest Media Center Coordinator, "She is the epitome of what being a teacher means. She was born to do this job."

Deborah can be reached at:
Eaglecrest High School
5100 S. Picadilly Street
Aurora, CO 80017

For additional information about this program please contact Kim Burnham at: