Many people in the business world are used to being a part of recognition ceremonies where the employees are wined and dined and celebrated for their accomplishments. Do you know someone who has been on an all expenses paid work trip or lavish dinner? For profit businesses actually budget for such expenses. When you work in education, or any non-profit organization, the funds just do not allow for such lavish treats. Occasionally though, an event to honor educators emerges.
Last year I had the honor to attend the Colorado Succeeds Prize Awards Ceremony as a high school that I supported was a finalist. The event was held at the Buell complex in downtown Denver. It was a red carpet event with specialty drinks and appetizers. Everyone was dressed up and the mood was festive and celebratory. Teachers are not used to such special treatment and if you could see beyond their smiles, it wasn’t hard to notice the sense of pride and awe. I noticed all of this before the presentation even began.
The Succeeds Prize, awarded through a partnership of Colorado Succeeds, MindSpark and 9news (among many other business partnerships) is the most prestigious award recognizing Colorado educators and school districts. A total of $120,000 is awarded to schools and districts in a variety of categories. All categories are filled with schools and districts that are leading the way in applying innovative and effective instructional approaches. The presentation that highlighted the finalists was one of the most uplifting and inspirational experiences I had been to in a very long time.
Why would I mention that now? Shortly after I started in this position, I found out that Montrose County School District is a finalist in the Excellence in STEM category for the Succeeds Prize. This is incredible. The only sad part is that because of COVID, the award ceremony is going to be all virtual. 9 news out of Denver will be live streaming the event on Saturday night at 9p.m. We will be hosting a viewing party (meeting all necessary COVID guidelines) so that we can watch the ceremony together and hear the announcement of the winners. The winner in our category will receive $15,000!
The staff at Montrose County School District has worked incredibly hard to implement the STEM initiative. Through the vision and support of the former Superintendent, Steve Schiell, and the Board of Education, MCSD became a STEM district. Being a finalist for an award that recognizes this hard work is really special. STEM is a fantastic initiative and I know we have only scratched the surface in what we can accomplish for our students in this area. I am honored and privileged to be a part of such an innovative and forward thinking school district!
I invite you to watch the Colorado Succeeds Prize program. I also encourage you to take a moment and send a thank you to a teacher that is special to you and thank them for the work they are doing in STEM. Tune in to 9 news, September 12th at 9p.m. to watch the awards ceremony!
Wish us luck!