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Colorado Teacher of the Year
Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program honors an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled K-12 classroom teacher to represent the entire profession in the state. The selected teacher will automatically become Colorado's nominee for the National Teacher of the Year competition. The national program is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers. Visit the National Teacher of the Year program webpage for more information.
2020 Teacher of the Year announcement
Watch Denver7's coverage of the surprise school assembly where Hillary Wimmer, a business teacher at Mountain Range High School in Adams 12 Five Star Schools, was honored with the 2020 Colorado Teacher of the Year award.
Adams 12 teacher named Colorado 2020 Teacher of the Year
Hilary Wimmer teaches business at Mountain Range High School
WESTMINSTER - Hilary Wimmer, a business teacher at Mountain Range High School in Adams 12 Five Star Schools, was named Colorado's 2020 Teacher of the Year in a special ceremony at the high school today.
"'I'm honored to present this award to Hilary Wimmer, who inspires a culture of learning in her students that lasts long after graduation," said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. "Mrs. Wimmer is a bridge builder, a connector and a perfect representative of the kind of passionate and dedicated teachers who work tirelessly every day in Colorado. Mrs. Wimmer has helped students become financially literate, upstanding civic leaders and successful in their life's decisions. We are all fortunate to have her as a teacher in our state."
As Teacher of the Year, Wimmer 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. Wimmer along with the country's other teachers of the year will be honored at a special ceremony at the White House. Over the summer, Wimmer will get the opportunity to go to NASA's Space Camp for a week. She will also become a member of the Colorado Education Commissioner's Teacher Cabinet.
"We are absolutely thrilled that Hilary has been named the Colorado teacher of the year and could not think of a more deserving educator," said Adams 12 Superintendent Chris Gdowski. "Whether it's caring for students by helping them overcome obstacles or collaborating with business partners to provide unprecedented learning opportunities for students, Mrs. Wimmer exemplifies our district strengths and is a model teacher for our district and state. This recognition demonstrates the work that Hilary and all of the teachers in our district do to elevate student success in every classroom, every day."
Wimmer began teaching business in 2004 and was part of the inaugural staff at Mountain Range High School in Westminster in 2006. She leads the largest DECA program in Colorado, and in 2016 she was recognized as the Colorado DECA Advisor of the Year. Wimmer serves as the Career and Technical Education (CTE) department chair and business program coordinator for Mountain Range High School and as the CTE content coordinator for the district.
She received her undergraduate degree in marketing from the University of Colorado and a master's degree in educational counseling from the University of Phoenix. She also received certification in CTE from Colorado State University and a specialist degree in educational leadership from Arkansas State University.
Wimmer heads Adams 12's district-wide CTE professional learning teams in curriculum development and was named by the national Next Gen Personal Finance Organization to be one of the Next Gen Change Makers with the goal of ensuring all students leave high school financially literate. In May, she was named Adams 12 Five Star Schools' Certified Employee of the Year and was also named the Colorado Junior Achievement Educator of the year in 2019.
The Colorado Teacher of the Year program's award partners include Denver 7, Colorado Education Association, Colorado Free Masons, Adams State University, University of Northern Colorado and Blue Bell Ice Cream.
2019 Colorado Teacher of the Year
Margaret "Meg" Cypress is a fifth-grade teacher at Bradley International School in Denver Public Schools and was named the 2019 Teacher of the Year in October 2018. In this video, Meg shares about her teaching style, in which she uses a project-based learning style. Meg also explains how the process of applying for the Teacher of the Year award provided her insight into why she loves to teach.
Nominations are now closed for the 2020 Colorado Teacher of the Year award. The nomination period for the 2021 award will begin in November 2019.
2019 Colorado Teacher of the Year Award Partners
Teacher of the Year Archives
Recent Teacher of the Year Winners
- Meg Cypress, 2019 Colorado Teacher of the Year
- Christina Randle, 2018 Colorado Teacher of the Year
- Sean Wybrant, 2017 Colorado Teacher of the Year
- Leticia Ingram, 2016 Colorado Teacher of the Year
- Kathy Thirkell, 2015 Colorado Teacher of the Year
- Elizabeth Miner, 2014 Colorado Teacher of the Year
- Amanda Westenberg, 2013 Colorado Teacher of the Year
Veteran Teacher of the Year Winners
Colorado Council of the Network of State Teachers of the Year
The Colorado Council of the Network of State Teachers of the Year (NSTOY) is an organization committed to the preservation and enhancement of the Colorado Teacher of the Year Program. The Council works with the Colorado State Department of Education and other corporate and organizational partners to celebrate teaching excellence through the recognition of educators who have inspired a love for learning in their students, and who have distinguished themselves in the profession. All Colorado State Teachers of the Year, as well as each year's finalists, are invited to participate. For more information for upcoming meetings, as well as how to join, please visit the Colorado Council's website.
For more information on this program, please contact:
Competitive Grants and Awards