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News Release - 2010 Online Teachers of the Year

Nov. 2, 2010

News Release

Colorado Online Teachers of the Year Announced

The Colorado Department of Education today announced the Colorado 2010 Online Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year are Peggy Gillham Barnholt and Kristin Kipp, respectively.

Gillham Barnholt is an elementary special education teacher and the manager of special education programs at Colorado Connections Academy in Mapleton School District. A 32-year veteran teacher, Gillham Barnholt’s prior studies of professional learning communities helped her quickly step into a leadership role.

Colorado Connections Academy is a tuition-free public online school that serves students in grades K–12. Colorado Connections Academy provides students the flexibility to learn at home with curriculum that meets state education standards.

Colorado’s 2010 Online Secondary Teacher of the Year is Kristin Kipp. Kipp is a high school English teacher and instructional leader for Jeffco’s 21st Century Virtual Academy in Jefferson County School District. In her career at Jefferson County, she has taught eighth through twelfth grade English, been a department chair/instructional leader and served as an instructional coach teaching other teachers. For the past three years she has also been involved with Colorado Online Learning, teaching adjunct courses as well as serving as director of curriculum and instruction.

Jeffco 21st Century Virtual Academy is a tuition-free high school for students age 14 to 20. The school provides rigorous curriculum, which is also used by Jeffco high schools and aligned with state standards.

In her online courses, Kipp stresses three primary connections. First, students should be deeply connected to content, engaging critical thinking as they learn and practice skills. Second, students should be connected with their teacher. Students need to know that there is a caring teacher on the other end of the computer who will not allow them to settle for mediocrity. Finally, students should be connected with each other. Learning is rarely a solitary pursuit, even online. Students need to be interacting with each other to help their learning deepen and broaden.

The 2010 Colorado Online Teachers of the Year will be honored at the Colorado State Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at approximately 2:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at CDE, 201 E. Colfax Ave., State Board Room, in Denver.

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