Three D60 teachers receive Colorado Teacher Awards for Pueblo County chapter

posted May 7, 2020, 2:21 PM by
Three outstanding Pueblo School District 60 teachers - Haaff Elementary School Kindergarten teacher Marcia Griglak, Goodnight School Kindergarten teacher Courtney Lockett, and Irving Elementary School physical education teacher Chris Markert - were named the recipients of Colorado Teacher Awards for the Pueblo County Chapter Thursday.

Annually, the Colorado Teacher Awards recognizes the teaching profession by honoring the distinguished teachers in a school system that has a Colorado Teacher Awards chapter.

In the Pueblo County Chapter, which is in its 36th year, nine outstanding teachers were nominated. Griglak, Lockett and Markert were selected by a 12-member committee, co-chaired by Pueblo attorney David Lytle and Leslie Shepard of SunWest Credit Union.

The Colorado Teachers Awards, founded by Charles W. Lerch in 1956, recognizes excellence in teaching as a tribute to all teachers and provides a means by which the business community and general public can honor outstanding teachers. 

Marcia Griglak, Kindergarten teacher, Haaff Elementary
Nominated by Sandra Montoya and Kathleen Lewis, 
Principal Betsy DeCesaro

Marcia Griglak has taught at Haaff Elementary since 2001, teaching 3rd grade, 4th grade and Kindergarten. She is also Haaff's math coach, its No Bully implementation coach, Peace Summit coordinator, PBIS chairperson, school beautification coordinator, social committee chairperson and a certified trainer for "7 Habits of Highly Effective Families."

From her nominators: "Mrs. Griglak does not view teaching as her 'job' but as her responsibility to enrich the lives of children. She sets a standard of high expectations for herself and those around her which has proven to be contagious among our staff. Other teachers strive to reach the standard set by Mrs. Griglak."

Courtney Lockett, Kindergarten teacher, Goodnight School
Nominated by Alison Selle and Heather Atencio, 
Principal Andrea Glaeser

Courtney Lockett has taught Kindergarten at Goodnight since 2010. In addition to establishing a standard for excellence in her Kindergarten classrooms, she has been active in multiple Goodnight organizations, including the Building Leadership Team, P.B.I.S., P.T.O., and school accountability, social and carnival committees. She has also been an assistant girls soccer coach at South High School during her time at Goodnight. 

From her nominators: "From the day her students enter her classroom, they are met with some of Courtney's mantras, such as 'there is no 'can't' in our room at all' and 'you don't have to be perfect as long as you try' ... Her philosophy is that this sense of independence establishes the confidence they need to think critically and work on their own later on."

Chris Markert, physical education teacher, Irving Elementary School
Nominated by Miranda Genova and Assistant Principal Christina Benavidez

Chris Markert has been a teacher since 2001, teaching the 5th grade from 2001-16 at Somerlid Elementary, Heroes Academy, and Irving Elementary. Since 2016, Chris has taught P.E. at Irving, where in addition to his role as an educator, he has also become a mentor for other teachers at the school.

From his nominators: ""Mr. Markert encourages our students. He always encourages open communication and free thinking with students to make them feel important. Mr. Markert is enthusiastic, praises students often and recognizes them for their contributions... Not only is Mr. Markert our Physical Education teacher at Irving, he is also a well-respected mentor ... Mr. Markert demonstrates for each teacher the expectation and then allows the teacher to practice, providing them in-the-moment feedback."

Among the nominees for a 2020 Colorado Teacher Award from the Pueblo County chapter were: Verla Hutchins (Corwin), Kim O'Connor (Bessemer), Janet Rivera (Franklin), Kerrie Studen (Beulah Heights), Kimberly VanHee (Central), and Kelsi Vigil (Highland Park).

The recognitions from the Pueblo Chapter of the Colorado Teacher of the Year Awards would not be possible without the contributions of sponsors: Legacy Bank, SunWest Credit Union, Colorado Bank and Trust, Black Hills Energy, Xcel Energy, St. Mary Corwin Medical Center, Parkview Medical Center, Little Caesar's Pizza, PS I Love You Flowers, and the Pueblo Chieftain.