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News Release - 2018 Colorado Teacher of the Year finalists announced

Aug. 15, 2017

News Release - 2018 Colorado Teacher of the Year finalists announced

Seven educators from across the state selected for annual competition

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Education today announced seven finalists for the 2018 Colorado Teacher of the Year competition with the finalist to be announced by Nov. 1, 2017. Approximately 47 teachers applied for the honor from schools throughout Colorado.
“Colorado values the dedicated teachers from around the state who inspire and motivate our children every day,” said Colorado’s education commissioner Katy Anthes. “The Colorado Teacher of the Year award is just one of many ways we can honor our state’s educators. We look forward to hearing from the seven finalists in the search for the individual who will represent our state’s teaching profession.”
The Colorado Teacher of the Year program is a statutorily required position to annually acknowledge an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled K-12 classroom teacher to represent the entire profession in Colorado. The Colorado Teacher of the Year automatically becomes Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition. The National Teacher of the Year Program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with Voya Financial and People to People Ambassador Programs.
The 2018 finalists for Colorado Teacher of the Year are:
Kathleen Anderson (Strive Prep – Kepner, Denver Public Schools)
Ms. Anderson, who has been teaching for five years, is a language arts teacher at Strive Prep – Kepner. With the belief that her students and their families deserve a world-class education, Ms. Anderson has dedicated herself to making her school excellent and has elevated her voice to advocate for her students, their families, and equity in education.
David Lunn (Liberty Common High School, Poudre School District)
Mr. Lunn has beeninvolvedwith music education for more than 20 years, but his exposure to the world of teaching began long before that, as both of his parents are retired Colorado music educators. Through his unconventional path in education, Mr. Lunn has developed skills in teaching band, strings, choir, elementary music, jazz, improvisation, and songwriting.  He is also an active professional musician in Northern Colorado. 
Renee Motter (Air Academy High School, Academy School District 20)
Ms. Motter has been teaching English for 20 years and has been at Air Academy HighSchoolon the United States Air Force Academy for the past 18 years. She is also the head forensics, speech and debate coach at the high school. Ms. Motter hopes to encourage others to come together to find solutions that are best for students, including finding ways to help more students access the benefits and learning afforded through speech and debate. 
Wendy Murphy (Woodmen Hills Elementary School, Falcon School District 49)
Ms. Murphy, a second-grade teacher at Woodmen Hills Elementary in Falcon School District 49, has been an educator for 17 years. She is exceptional at finding creative ways to motivate all students to learn. Her classroom’s culture generates a positive mindset in which students are able to set personal goals, collaborate, work hard and understand that greatness arises with a dedicated effort. 
Christina Randle (Soaring Eagles Elementary School, Harrison School District 2)
Ms. Randle has been a first-grade teacher in Harrison School District for 14 years and has been at Soaring Eagles Elementary for 10 years. Ms. Randle provides an enthusiastic, nurturing classroom environment that produces confident, respectful learners. Ms. Randle’s classroom has been used as a model classroom for visits from schools around the state. 
Amy Rehberg (Horizon High School, Adams 12 Five Star Schools)
Ms. Rehberg has been a teacher at Horizon High School for the past 24 years, the last 11 as an English language learner teacher. An overarching theme of Ms. Rehberg’s teaching career is collaboration with teachers, families and support staff to make grade level content curriculum accessible to underperforming students. She is committed to being a champion for her students.  
Wendi Sussman (Strive Prep – Federal, Denver Public Schools)
Ms. Sussman is in her eighth year of teaching and her sixth year at Strive Prep– Federal. In Ms. Sussman’s classroom, students work on their individualized goals and make tremendous amounts of growth in both academic and life skills.
The teacher of the year will be announced by Nov. 1 and is chosen by a committee composed of a variety of individuals from within the education community. The selection process includes a written application, letters of recommendation, site visits, endorsements from the teacher’s district and personal interviews.
Nominees are judged on their ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities. They are expected to play an active role in the community and to have earned the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues.
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