Oct. 13, 2014
Monument teacher named Colorado Teacher of the Year
State Education Commissioner Robert Hammond announced today Kathy Thirkell, a math teacher at Lewis Palmer High School in Lewis Palmer School District 38, as the 2015 Colorado Teacher of the Year.
As the new Teacher of the Year, Thirkell will get 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.
Adams State College, Colorado Education Association, SMART Technologies, Colorado Free Masons and Blue Bell Ice Cream provided sponsorship for the award.a
“Thirkell understands the importance of achieving at the highest level and demonstrates that ability on a daily basis,” said Hammond. “She challenges herself not only in the classroom, but in every facet of her profession. She is passionate, respected, and incredibly knowledgeable.”
Thirkell was selected for the honor based on her depth of experience, passion and expertise from her 33 years as a math teacher. She demonstrates excellence in all levels: she has an outstanding rapport with her students, colleagues, parents and administrators, while also contributing to the field at the national level. She constantly strives to perfect her craft, and her impact on the community is immeasurable.
Sandi Brandl, principal of Lewis-Palmer High School says Thirkell’s dedication to her students is unmatched. She says, “If I need to find Kathy before school, it’s easy. She’s in her classroom helping kids. Outside of school she is constantly working to improve her craft, from learning how to incorporate technology in the classroom to updating curriculum to meet the needs of her students.”
Thirkell is a career teacher, having spent her entire 33 year tenure at Lewis-Palmer High School. She remains as passionate about teaching today as when she first began. Her classroom is a true mathematical playground where students learn quickly that they will work harder than they ever have, make greater gains than they ever have, and learn and appreciate a new way to communicate about the world around them through mathematics.