A Colorado Springs high school teacher who brings virtual reality and other groundbreaking technology into his classroom has been named the 2017 Colorado Teacher of the Year.
Sean Wybrant, a career and technical education teacher at William J. Palmer High School in Colorado Springs District 11, prevailed over five other finalists in results announced Tuesday.
The award is meant to recognize an outstanding teacher who can represent the profession and speak for educators in reform and policy discussions.
Wybrant has been a teacher at William J. Palmer High School in Colorado Springs District 11 for four years, and served as an English teacher in the same district before that.
Wybrant also sponsors a technology club for girls, a computer science club, a live musical performance club and runs a career and technology advisory board. He told state officials that he became a teacher to change the world.
“Sean Wybrant is an excellent model for teachers across the state,” said Katy Anthes, Colorado’s interim education commissioner in a released statement. “He has a special way of engaging students in meaningful projects that helps bring learning to life. And we love the fact that he became a teacher to change the world. With his dedication and encouragement, he will surely inspire many to do just that.”
Wybrant was one of six finalists this year. The pool raised questions earlier this summer because the finalists, while a mix of men, women and teachers of all levels and subjects, did not include teachers of color.
According to Tuesday’s announcement, Wybrant was selected for his “dedication and commitment to providing students with impactful and real-world educational experiences and opportunities. His work has led to groundbreaking technologies being infused into his classroom, including augmented reality, virtual reality, live action motion capture and robotics, among others.”
He will now go on to represent Colorado in the national competition for Teacher of the Year.
Check back later this week to learn more about Wybrant in our regular feature, How I Teach. Read our past installments of the series here.