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2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year

Elizabeth Miner, 2014 Teacher of the Year

Elizabeth Miner was named the 2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year by the commissioner of education at an assembly held at Miner's school on Oct. 14, 2013. Miner is a physical education teacher at Fitzsimmons Middle School in Platte Canyon School District.

Miner was selected for the honor based on her vision and ability to effectively represent teaching professionals across Colorado, and her capacity to both inspire students and get results. She says teaching is not work for her; it is a heart-felt calling. Miner loves coming to school each day and positively impacting her students.

Miner has been a middle school physical education teacher 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.

As the Colorado Teacher of the Year, Miner will have the chance to participate in many professional development opportunities through the National Teacher of the Year program and will even get to attend a ceremony at the White House and go to Space Camp for a week. The Colorado Education Initiative, along with Adams State College, SMART Technologies, Colorado Free Masons and Blue Bell Ice Cream provided sponsorship for the award.


Elizabeth Miner can be reached at:

Fitzsimmons Middle School
Platte Canyon School District
57093 US HWY 285
Bailey, CO 80421

Colo. Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond and Deputy Commisioner Keith Owen, Ph.D., congratulate Elizabeth Miner.

2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year, Elizabeth Miner and President Barack Obama.


2015 Colorado Teacher of the Year Finalists Announced

The Colorado Department of Education is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2015 Colorado Teacher of the Year Award. The Colorado Teacher of the Year award winner will be announced by November 1, 2014. The 2015 Finalists are:

Jennifer Murrin Loomis

Kathleen Thirkell

 Jennifer Murrin Loomis, Eaglecrest High School, Cherry Creek Schools. Murrin Loomis is a high school teacher with 16 years of teaching experience. Murrin Loomis is an instructor of both Language Arts and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). She says that her refusal to let even one student be invisible makes a difference, and through sharing her knowledge of, and passion for teaching with others, more and more students are being positively impacted.




Kathleen Thirkell, Lewis Palmer High School, Lewis Palmer School District. Thirkell is a veteran high school mathematics teacher with 33 years of experience. She says that in her 33 years in the classroom, she has seen many changes in curriculum, delivery of curriculum, and assessment of curriculum. What hasn’t changed, she says, is her district’s motto, “In pursuit of excellence.” Thirkell states that she has been given the opportunity, support, and the professional freedom to implement programs that allow students to truly pursue their own excellence and remains as passionate about teaching today as when she first began.

Recent Teachers of the Year

Veteran Teachers of the Year

  • To view a list of Colorado’s Teachers of the Year from 1963 to present, click here.

Colorado Teacher of the Year Application

Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program honors an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled teacher to represent the entire profession in Colorado. The Colorado Teacher of the Year will automatically become Colorado's nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition sponsored by the ING Foundation and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The application for the 2016 Colorado Teacher of the Year will be available Spring 2015.

For more information on this program, please contact:
Lynn Bamberry
Colorado Teacher of the Year Program
Colorado Department of Education
1560 Broadway, Suite 1450
Denver, CO 80202-5149
Phone: (303) 866-6813

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