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Thursday Churn: Teacher of year named

What’s churning:

Michelle Pearson, a middle school social studies and language arts teacher at the Hulstrom Options K-8 School in Northglenn, has been named 2011 Colorado Teacher of the Year. Pearson, who teaches advanced students, learned of the award Wednesday morning at a “surprise” assembly at the school in the Adams 12 Five Star District. Our partners at 9News have a full report, including video.

Pearson was one of three finalists for the award. The two others are Kristin Donley, a science teacher at Monarch High School in Boulder, and Amy Nichols, a math teacher at Hinkley High School in Aurora.

Sometimes the runner-up can move into the winner’s circle and the Akron school district did just that on Wednesday, when the state Capital Construction Assistance Board formally awarded it $17 million in state funds to build a new PK-12 school.

When the board decided on 2010-11 Build Excellent Schools Today grants earlier this year, Akron finished out of the running but was declared the alternative in case other districts didn’t raise their BEST matching money. But, while it was waiting, Akron had to persuade its voters to pass a bond issue to raise a local match of $7 million, the limit of its bonding capacity.

Three other districts failed to make their matches, opening the way for Akron, whose voters approved its match. The new school, which will include renovation of part of the existing high school, will replace two buildings that are 46 and 56 years old.

What’s on tap:

Some districts, including Denver Public Schools, are out for Veterans Day today but others, such as Jefferson County, are not. Schools in the state’s largest district have scheduled a plethora of activities to mark the holiday and you can see those here.
The state’s Expanded Learning Opportunities Commission takes its listening tour to Sheridan High School today for a meeting from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The Concurrent Enrollment Advisory Board will meet from 1 to 5 p.m. in the conference center at the Community College System Lowry campus, 1061 Akron Way, Bldg. 697 in Denver. The board oversees the state program that allows students to take college classes while still in high school.

Good reads from elsewhere

  • Illegal meeting?: Three Denver school board members face censure voteThe Denver Post
  • Outsider’s outsider: New NYC schools chancellor has had little to do with public schoolsThe New York Times
  • Expensive training: Full cost of teacher professional development is hidden, experts say – Education Week

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