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News Release - Aurora teacher named 2023 Colorado Teacher of the Year

2023 Colorado Teacher of the Year Winner Jimmy Day Aurora Public Schools Supported by Denver7

Aurora teacher named 2023 Colorado Teacher of the Year

Jimmy Day teaches music at East Middle School

DENVER – Jimmy Lee Day II, the band director and instrumental music teacher at East Middle School in Aurora Public Schools, was named Colorado’s 2023 Teacher of the Year in a surprise ceremony today.

“Congratulations to Mr. Day on being named our next Colorado Teacher of the Year,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. "His knowledge of music and passion for sharing it with students is clear to anyone who steps into his classroom or attends an East Middle band performance. I am inspired by his dedication to not only help young musicians develop their instrumental skills but also to instill them with confidence and demonstrate life lessons. I am looking forward to learning from Jimmy as we watch his journey as our next Teacher of the Year."

As Teacher of the Year, Day will represent the entire profession in Colorado and be the public face of Colorado’s teachers. He will be entered as Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year Program competition. Day, 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. He will also become a member of the Colorado Education Commissioner’s Teacher Cabinet.

“We are incredibly proud of the impact Mr. Jimmy Day has made and continues to make each day at East Middle School," said Aurora Public School Superintendent Rico Munn. "We know that the key to effective teaching is developing relationships with students and there is no one who does this better than Mr. Day. He pairs his passion for music with his ability to connect with students and help them achieve their highest potential. We are honored to have him represent Aurora Public Schools as the Colorado Teacher of the Year.”

Jacquelyn Brown, interim principal of East Middle School, echoed this sentiment, saying, "Jimmy stands out because of his commitment to his students and the drive that he has to teach music to all students even if they are not initially inclined towards learning an instrument. He knows students need to have something they can be passionate about in their education. His zeal for music is contagious and helps light a spark in students which he continues to build on so they stay engaged. It’s very clear that what he is instilling in them, what he’s teaching, goes beyond music.”

Day has taught at East Middle School since 2017. During his more than 13 years as an educator, he has rebuilt three band programs, transforming them into award winning programs that earned superior rating scores from district music festivals. As a result of his effective teaching, Day became a highly recommended educator to participate in the Public Education & Business Coalition and the Aurora Public School Mentoring Community of Practice. He received his Bachelor of Science in Music at Tennessee State University and his Master's of Arts and Teaching at Trevecca Nazarene University.

The Colorado Teacher of the Year program is supported by Denver7. Program partners include the Colorado Education Association, Adams State University and Blue Bell Ice Cream.

For more on the Colorado Teacher of the Year, visit the program webpage.