We’re already into the middle of May, and another school year is coming to a close. But before the school year ends, we have to say thank you to all of our teachers.

In the week of Teacher Appreciation Week (May 8-May 12), I’m reminded of my grandmother, who was a teacher for elementary-aged students for many years. She was passionate about teaching, so much so that she instilled some of her teaching quips and passions in me and my sister.

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We’ve all had those teachers who we remember for one reason or another. As my sister says some were like the teacher in Charles Schultz’s Peanuts comics. You know the one–monotone “wah, wah, wah, wah, waahhh” sound, that you usually had right after lunch, so it was hard to concentrate. Some teachers were good, some were not so good, and some were outstanding.

I remember a couple of my teachers who made a big impression and made a difference in my life. One was my Spanish teacher in high school. Honestly, had she not been my teacher, I wouldn’t have taken more than a semester of the class. The other was an English teacher in college. She thought, and taught, outside the box.

K-12 teachers are nominated each year, to represent teachers across the state of Colorado. Of all the nominees, one teacher is selected as the Teacher of the Year for Colorado. That person then becomes the state’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year.

The 2023 Teacher of the Year for Colorado is Jimmy Lee Day II, band director at East Middle School in Aurora. He teaches instrumental music to children in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade.

If you know of a K-12 classroom teacher that is dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled, you can nominate them to apply. If you are a teacher, you can also apply without being nominated. You can find out more on the Colorado Department of Education website.

I think almost all of my kids’ teachers are worthy of being Teacher of the Year: they are all dedicated to their profession, and more so, to the kids they teach. Thank you to our area teachers for your amazing work.

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