Autumn Rivera, a sixth-grade science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School, was named Colorado Teacher of the Year on Friday, 2022.
An enthusiastic and modern educator and advocate for teachers, Rivera has long been recognized as a leader in the local community. Her students say she makes the class fun – she uses Tik Tok videos and computer games to engage them. His colleagues come to him for advice, whatever his mandate.
“It’s really great to see how many people have shown their support and offered their congratulations,” Rivera told The Post Independent when she was named one of the seven finalists. “It would mean a lot just to be recognized for this hard work… At first it was like ‘I don’t know’, but then I was like ‘Oh, I think I would like that.'”
Rivera taught at Glenwood Springs Middle School for nine years. She is also an assistant professor in the education department at Colorado Mountain College, works on numerous boards of directors and was a leader of the Yes on 5B campaign, advocating for an increase in the factory tax. to increase salaries in the Roaring Fork School District. She leads professional development meetings.
She also takes the time to contact former students and attend their sporting events.
“Once you’re on her team or in her circle of influence, once she puts her arms around you, she doesn’t give up,” said Glenwood Springs Middle School principal Joel Hathaway. .
Rivera is the first Roaring Fork School District educator to win the award since Leticia Ingram of Basalt High School in 2016.
As the state representative, Rivera will now compete for the national teacher of the year award. She will join the Colorado Education Commissioner’s Cabinet of Teachers, be honored at a special ceremony at the White House, and be invited to attend NASA’s Space Camp.
She will also benefit from “many professional development opportunities,” according to a press release from the Colorado Department of Education.
The award will enhance its ability to advocate for educators as the “public face of Colorado teachers,” also the statement said. This will allow him to continue his work of struggle for rural teachers in particular.
“I do a lot of things to make the voice of all teachers in rural Colorado heard,” Rivera said. ” We are here. We do cool things and sometimes it’s hard to know what cool things are going on.
Rivera grew up near Sweetwater and followed in her mother’s footsteps, who also taught at Colorado Mountain College and taught science. She holds a master’s degree from Colorado College in secondary science education and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs in educational leadership.
Rivera was recognized Friday afternoon in a ceremony at Glenwood Springs Middle School, which is broadcast live on the Roaring Fork School District Facebook page.
This story will be updated.