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Autumn Rivera, 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year

Autumn Rivera, 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year

Autumn Rivera, a science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School in Roaring Fork School District, was named Colorado’s 2022 Teacher of the Year in a surprise, limited-capacity ceremony in her school's library on Oct. 22, 2021.

On January 19, 2022, Rivera was named as one of four finalists for the national Teacher of the Year competition

“I am honored to announce that Autumn Rivera is our state’s next Teacher of the Year,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “In a time where it is more important than ever for students to feel supported in and out of the classroom, Ms. Rivera goes above and beyond to build trusting relationships with her students and their families. We have heard firsthand from her school community how inspired they are by Ms. Rivera’s passion for science, her dedication to the teaching profession and her commitment to equity. I am ecstatic to work with her during her journey as our Colorado Teacher of the Year!”

As Teacher of the Year, Rivera will represent the entire profession in Colorado and be the public face of Colorado’s teachers. She will be entered as Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year Program competition and will receive many professional development opportunities. Rivera, along with the country’s other teachers of the year, will be honored at a special ceremony at the White House and get the opportunity to go to NASA’s Space Camp. She will also become a member of the Colorado Education Commissioner’s Teacher Cabinet.

“Autumn is a quintessential professional and a master teacher,” said Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Rob Stein. "She is passionate about advocating for children and their needs, and deeply committed to equity and social justice. As a collaborator and leader, Autumn always listens thoughtfully, fills in the gaps where extra work is required, and works to build consensus.”

Joel Hathaway, principal of Glenwood Springs Middle School, said Rivera’s classroom is a place of deep learning and a source of joy. “Students are excited about science because she is excited about science,” he said. “Her students are engaged in authentic learning experiences that provide an opportunity to both learn and make a difference in the world. Autumn's impact at Glenwood Springs Middle School is immense - she leads us all by example. She takes risks and tries new things, plans and executes schoolwide initiatives, keeps our focus on how our decisions impact students, and consistently values wellness and belonging for all.”

Rivera has taught sixth grade at her current school for nine years. She is also an adjunct professor in the education department at Colorado Mountain College. During her more 16 years as an educator, she has worked with students from elementary to postgraduate levels. Rivera is a member of the Colorado Science Conference Planning Committee and the Steering Committee with the Colorado Science Education Network. She is the Region 3 Elementary Board representative for the Colorado Association of Science Teachers and volunteers with the American Association of Chemistry Teachers.

In addition to her work in the field of science, Rivera serves on the Roaring Fork School District Interest Based Bargaining Committee and is her building’s advisor for the district’s Mentor and Advisor Program. She is the design facilitator for schoolwide events as well as a school track coach.

Rivera earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Science from Colorado College in Colorado Springs. She also earned a Master of Arts in Education Leadership from University of Colorado in Colorado Springs in 2015.

Photo of 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year Autumn Rivera

Autumn can be reached at:

Glenwood Springs Middle School
Roaring Fork School District
120 Soccer Field Rd, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601