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News Release - 2012 Teacher of the Year

Oct. 26, 2012

Aurora social studies teacher named Colorado Teacher of the Year

State Education Commissioner Robert Hammond announced today Amanda Westenberg, a social studies teacher at Rangeview High School in Aurora Public Schools, is the 2013 Colorado Teacher of the Year.

As Teacher of the Year, Westenberg will get many professional development opportunities through the National Teacher of the Year program, will attend a ceremony at the White House, and go to space camp for a week.

The Colorado Legacy Foundation, along with Adams State College, SMART Technologies, Colorado Free Masons and Blue Bell Ice Cream will provide support to Westenberg to allow her time to be gone from her school to attend these events and speaking engagements.

“We know that there is no more important school-based factor in a child’s education, than an effective teacher in the classroom,” said Dr. Helayne Jones, President and CEO of the Colorado Legacy Foundation. “We are pleased to make this investment in the 2013 Colorado Teacher of the Year.”

Westenberg was selected for the honor based on her expertise, the student achievement results she receives from her classroom instruction, and her ability to inspire students. She says she made the decision to enter into the field of education hoping to create a community in which students could feel safe, cared for and cherished.

Ron Fay, principal of Rangeview High School describes Westenberg as a “dedicated, talented educator who has a positive impact on students and colleagues. She understands the learning process to a degree that is rare.”

Westenberg has been in education for eight years and serves as the social studies department chair at Rangeview High School. She’s developed interactive Advanced Placement curriculum and feels her mission is to enable students to become literate thinkers with the skills to succeed in their post-secondary pursuits. Westenberg believes education must be rigorous, relevant and engaging. She has developed a supportive classroom community grounded in positive teacher-student relationships. She feels it is teachers’ obligation to students, parents, and society to provide the highest quality education.

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