Nov. 20, 2009
Tonight I joined
Gov. Bill Ritter and members of the state board of education in honoring
the 2010 Colorado Teacher of the Year Justin Darnell at a event held in
downtown Denver. Darnell is a
science teacher at Bryant-Webster K-8 in Denver.
Growing up in a small town outside of Albuquerque, Justin Darnell witnessed the divide between his classmates’ needs and what the educational system provided. The experience prompted Darnell to want to change the way teachers interact with at-risk learners.
Darnell pursued that personal goal and for the last seven years has worked as a science teacher, including the last five at Bryant-Webster K-8 School, where 95 percent of the student body is eligible for free and reduced lunch and 96 percent of the students are Hispanic, including many English Language Learners.
“Congratulations to all the superb finalists, who are outstanding representatives of the many thousands of wonderful and dedicated teachers across this state,” said Gov. Ritter. “I don’t know of a profession that matters more to the future of our state and our country.”
Darnell thanked his family and school staff for support. “I have unbelievable students…and I work at a great, great school,” he said.
Darnell was chosen by a five-member committee from a list of nominees of exemplary classroom teachers.
Darnell 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. The Colorado Teacher of the Year represents the entire teaching profession in Colorado.
Photo at right, Susan Elliott, 2009 Teacher of the Year sits with Gov. Bill Ritter. To the Gov.'s right is state board member Angelika Schroeder.
Gov. Bill Ritter announces DPS teacher Justin Darnell as the
2010 Colorado Teacher of the Year.
At left, state board members Elaine Gantz-Berman and Jane Goff show their support for the teacher of the year and finalists. At right, Kyle Dyer of 9 News interviews Darnell after the event.