Teacher of Year Nominees Honored
posted September 2009
PSD 2009 Teacher of the Year Finalists Honored by Rotary
With 27 years of teaching experience, Cathy Bishopp knows first-hand the importance of education keeping up with a rapidly changing world.
“The needs of society have changed and what we need to prepare children for is much different,” says the 3rd grade Riffenburgh Elementary teacher. “Technology, for example, is ever evolving. Therefore, modifications to our curriculums are necessary to ensure children have the skills for a successful future.”
Three of PSD's Best Make Up Pool of Finalists
Bishopp and Poudre School District teachers Vicky Jordan and Dan Downing will be honored for their commitment to students during the 15th annual Fort Collins Rotary Clubs’ Teacher of the Year awards. More than 250 Rotary International Club members will recognize the finalists and name the PSD 2009 Rotary Teacher of the Year at a luncheon Wednesday, September 30, at the Lincoln Center, 417 W. Magnolia.
Fort Collins’ Mayor Doug Hutchinson is this year’s keynote speaker. The theme of his talk will be “Unity in tough times, and the value of our educational institutions.”
Finalists were selected from 27 teachers recognized by the three Rotary Clubs last year as teachers of the month. Nominees were selected because they embody Rotary International principals of service, integrity, recognition of individual worthiness, advancement of international understanding, and personal responsibility to society.
Riffenburg's Cathy Bishopp Teaches More than Academics
Bishopp, who is the chairperson of Riffenburgh’s Positive Behavior Support program, has introduced several ideas that have helped the school implement the positive behavior philosophy.
“I am proud of inspiring many children to become more tolerant, compassionate and responsible citizens by showing them that by working together, we are enhanced and strengthened by our differences, rather than diminished by them,” says Bishopp.
In addition to classroom teaching, Bishopp has volunteered for numerous organizations including Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels, Boy and Girl Scouts, Junior League, the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society and the Northern Colorado Division of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Lesher's Dan Downing Enjoys Students' Energy, Curiosity
Dan Downing has spent the past 25 years teaching social studies at Lesher International Baccalaureate Middle School. He has been highly involved in the school, sponsoring several student activities and coaching school teams. He enjoys the energy and curiosity of his students.
“They bring so much knowledge to the classroom. As they share their interests with me and their peers, I am learning every day,” says Downing.
Downing also serves as Lesher’s coordinator of Community Service programs, giving students the opportunity to volunteer for several community organizations and events throughout the year. In addition, he enjoys coaching his son’s soccer team.
Wellington's Vicky Jordan Thinks Outside the Box
Vicky Jordan has worked for PSD for 20 years, teaching science for the past 19 years at Wellington Middle School. Jordan knows that the time spent developing engaging lessons is well worth the effort when she sees her students experience ‘Aha!’ moments.
“When kids are excited about science…and when they teach each other in their enthusiasm for sharing their newly acquired knowledge and skills, then I know that I am making a difference,” says Jordan.
Outside of teaching, Jordan volunteers with the Colorado Division of Wildlife and with the Redstones Estates Road Association. She also earned the Fort Collins Distinguished Teacher Award for being an excellent role model for students and teaching creative innovative lessons.