Alanna Brown receives a standing ovation on the occasion of her retirement from CA.

Faculty honors highlight annual reception

Heartfelt cheers and smiles filled the dining hall as Colorado Academy’s faculty and staff honored this year’s faculty award recipients and celebrated the accomplishments of those leaving CA. The Faculty and Staff Appreciation Reception brought everyone together one last time before summer break. Five teachers and one administrator are retiring this year. Ten additional faculty and staff members are departing CA when the school year is over in June.

Outstanding faculty awards

A highlight of the event is the announcement of the outstanding faculty awards. Head of School Dr. Mike Davis did the honors of introducing this year’s recipients.

Ross Holland

Frances Newton Outstanding Faculty Award

Named in the spring of 2003 and endowed by an anonymous donor, the Newton Award recognizes those who have modeled teaching excellence, who render exemplary service on behalf of students and colleagues, and who, in their teaching practice, provide examples of the multiple talents and values that are mirrored in the school’s mission.

The 2022 Frances Newton Outstanding Faculty Award went to Upper School English Senior Instructor Ross Holland.

Jeff Brown with Dr. Davis

Connie Adcock Award for Inspirational Teaching 

The Adcock Award was created in 2011 to honor a teacher who ignites in students a lifelong love of learning and creative expression through the use of innovative teaching methods, who ensures a nurturing classroom environment that encourages risk taking and appreciates individual style, and who plants within children that seed of confidence that hard work and perseverance will take them far in life, and that their successes are worthy of celebration!

The 2022 Connie Adcock Award for Inspirational Teaching went to Jeff Brown, Grade Four Instructor.

Jay Leeuwenburg thanks Diana Giarusso.

Yoeman Fisher Teaching Excellence Award

Instituted in 1980 in memory of a beloved retiring Lower School teacher, the Yoeman Fisher Award was established to recognize a long, outstanding teaching career at CA. The criteria to receive this award include being recognized as a creative, inventive, inspiring, and knowledgeable teacher; seen as a role model who displays in his or her own life the qualities of invention, curiosity, and intellectual discipline which we seek to instill in students; and seen as a source of sound advice and an intelligent critic of teaching strategy.

First Grade Teacher Diana Giarusso highlighted the exemplary traits of the two teachers who received the 2022 Yoeman Fisher Award:

  • Jay Leeuwenburg, Grade Three Senior Instructor, and
  • Lisa Boes, Upper School Chemistry Preceptor
Dr. Davis with Jenny Armstrong

Head of School Award for Distinguished Service

Dr. Davis honored Jenny Armstrong, Director of Early Childhood Education, as his selection of the Head of School Award. Armstrong oversees CA’s employee child care program as well as the Pre-K program. Davis called out Armstrong’s commitment to ensuring the well-being and education of a very special population of students—our youngest on campus.

Dr. Davis congratulates Laura Sandbloom, with Tom Thorpe looking on.

Special thanks 

Attention then turned to recognizing those leaving CA to pursue other career interests. They include:

  • Gwylym Cano, MS/US Digital Video Instructor
  • Karen Chavez, Asst. Director of MS Admission & Equity Initiatives
  • Andrew Friedrich, Classical Guitar Instructor
  • Austin Harvey, Upper School Mathematics Senior Instructor
  • Kristin Harvey, Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
  • Vicki Hildner, Communications Officer & Content Strategist
  • Elizabeth Landers, Lower School Spanish Instructor
  • Laura Sandbloom, Upper School English Instructor and Lacrosse Coach
  • Aaron Thomas, Upper School History Preceptor
  • Neethi Venkateswaran, Upper School History & Mathematics Instructor
Kimberly Jans with Dr. Davis

Celebration of service to CA

The event wrapped up with Dr. Davis and colleagues honoring the six retirees who, combined, have served CA for 157 years.

  • Alanna Brown, CFO & Business Manager 
  • Kimberly Jans, Upper School Computer Science Master Teacher; Academic Webmaster
  • Dani Meyers, Upper School Science Master Teacher
  • Marcia Richards, Physical Education Master Teacher & Coach
  • Steve Scherer, Preceptor, Theater & Dance Chair
  • Barry Simmons, Upper School History Master Teacher

CA will welcome new faculty and staff in August with an introduction to families before the school year begins.