Certified Educator of the Year award recognizes excellence

Friday, May 5, 2017 - 3:15pm
Certified Educator of the Year award

Over 65 educators nominated by colleagues for 2016-17

Adams 12 Five Star Schools, in partnership with the District Twelve Educators Association (DTEA), announces the finalists and grand-prize winner of the first-ever Certified Educator of the Year award. From teachers to counselors, librarians to learning specialists and social workers to speech pathologists, the many different roles and responsibilities of certified employees pave the road for student success in every classroom, every day.

To honor certified educators, colleagues from across the district were asked to nominate an educator who goes above and beyond normal duties to achieve student success. Nominations were built on the three strategies in the Five Star Schools’ plan for student success: creating multiple pathways for learning; striking a “just-right” balance of empowerment and accountability; and building strong community relationships. 

The award received over 65 nominations from district colleagues. A panel of various district employees and community members reviewed the nominations anonymously to determine five winners – four finalists and a grand prize winner from a variety of levels and roles. The winner receives a cash reward from DTEA, recognition at the Board of Education meeting on May 24, 2017, and a celebration at his/her school with students and staff. 

Certified Educator of the Year:

  • Amy Rehberg, English Language Learner teacher at Horizon High School

>>Check out our celebration with Amy at Horizon on Facebook!<<

Amy Rehberg exceeds the qualifications of the certified educator of the year for Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Nominated by Lyanne Terada, a colleague of Mrs. Rehberg at Horizon High School, a common thread in her work is an awareness of underserved populations and her leadership in creating programs and opportunities for these students to succeed in high school and beyond.  

Mrs. Rehberg was instrumental in the creation of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Horizon High School. This year, the graduation rate for Hispanic students at Horizon High School is the highest in the district at 96.2%, which makes it higher than the overall Horizon graduation rate of 95% and an impressive 15% higher than in 2012.

In addition, Mrs. Rehberg was also the designer of the Adelante program which helps students develop 21st century skills and resources to stay in high school in order to graduate. Rehberg has spent countless hours mentoring students, collaborating with colleges and coordinating college visits. She also partners with teachers of the students she does not have in class to ensure they have the right strategies and supports.

According to Terada, this increase of graduating students is attributed to Mrs. Rehberg and the way she works with staff on behalf of students. “Amy is a no-nonsense, dedicated and caring educator,” Terada said. “She fights for the under-represented to ensure representation and success for all students in access, resources and opportunities.”

Ultimately, the respect from her colleagues comes down to her relationships with students. She holds an open-door policy, often meeting with students’ family members and celebrating special occasions and holidays. Academically, Mrs. Rehberg individualizes instruction to meet abilities while still maintaining rigorous expectations – expectations that she pushes students to think beyond. “Students feel her genuine care and concern for their well-being,” said Terada, “and the success follows.”

Mrs. Rehberg received a cash reward from DTEA, recognition by the Five Star Schools Board of Education and a celebration at her school.


  • Eric Fengler - 6th grade social studies teacher at Rocky Top Middle School
  • Teresa Kajiwara - Instructional Coach at Silver Creek and Eagleview Elementary Schools
  • Melissa Kooi - Kindergarten Teacher at Woodglen Elementary
  • Juanita "Nita" Laramie-Eaton - School psychologist at Vantage Point High School and Crossroads Middle

All Nominees:

Kira Aarestad - Vantage Point High School
Karen Andresen Woodglen Elementary
Erin Austin - Stukey Elementary
Bobbie Bastian - Bollman Technical Educational Center
Derrick Belanger - Century Middle School
Amy Boettcher - Westview Elementary
Michael Cabibbo - STEM Launch
Cory Calus - STEM Launch
Jason Cianfrance - Legacy High School
Cyndi Colston - Century Middle School
Jennifer Congedo - Hulstrom K-8
Teri Crump - STEM Lab
Jared Crump-Bertram - Century Middle School
Geraldine "Gerri" Dinkelmeyer - Pathways Future Center School
Kate Edwards - Northglenn Middle School
Lori Egan - Northglenn High School
Ann Espey - Century Middle School
Christina Espino - Hulstrom K-8
Eric Fengler - Rocky Top Middle School
Allison Gleichman - Vantage Point and Crossroads
Heather Goggin - North Star Elementary
Jeannie Graef - Century Middle School
Denise Helke - Hunters Glen Elementary
Mike Huff - Legacy High School
Daniel Hummel - Legacy High School
Bryan Johnston - Horizon High School
Teresa Kajiwara - Silver Creek Elementary
Anne Kaslon - Riverdale Elementary
Jessica Keigan - Horizon High School
Karen Kidd - Mountain View Elementary 
Melissa Kooi - Woodglen Elementary
Juanita "Nita" Laramie-Eaton - Vantage Point High School
Wendy Lee - Century Middle School
Tom Lombardo - Bollman Technical Education Center
Susan Lucier - Coyote Ridge Elementary 
Rose Marchese - Coronado Hills Elementary School
Erin Marquez - Woodglen Elementary
Deb McGown - Silver Creek Elementary
Liesel O'Hagen - Century Middle School
Darlene Olguin - Pathways Future Center School
Kristie Patrick - Coronado Hills Elementary
Annette Pawlas - Westview Elementary
Michelle Pearson - Century Middle School
Susannah Penny - Glacier Peak Elementary
Marie Perez - Rocky Top Middle School
Michelle Pfeifer - Riverdale Elementary
Donna Prochoda - Coronado Hills Elementary
Shawna Randle - Thornton High School
Amy Rehberg - Horizon High School
Jon Riley - Meridian Elementary 
Chassity Ross - Mountain View Elementary 
Taylor Sack - Century Middle School
Casey Sauer - Tarver Elementary
Cassie Seybold - Westgate Community School
Kim Spence - Hulstrom K-8
Amy Stern - Legacy High School
MaryAnn Stratton - Century Middle School
Erin Swain - Century Middle School
Linda Symank - Thornton High School
Elisa Taysom - McElwain Elementary
Michelle Thomas - Educational Support Center
Nora Tipton - STEM Launch K-8
Kristin Wallace - Century Middle School
Bonnie Wilson - Century Middle School
David Wiske - Rocky Top Middle School
Alaina Wollenberg - Century Middle School