RBC I Meeker High School science teacher Michelle Selle, and Rio Blanco Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) Executive Director Teresa Bandel-Schott of Rangely received state-level awards last week.
Selle was been named a 2015 Outstanding Colorado Educator by the University of Colorado. This award is presented to educators across the state who have demonstrated a commitment to helping students achieve their higher education goals. Eligible individuals include principals, counselors, teachers and other high school staff members.
Selle was nominated by Barbara Jones, her principal at Custer County High School in Westcliffe, Colo. Selle taught physical science, physics, math, personal finance and statistics at Custer County before moving to Meeker last summer with her husband, new Superintendent Chris Selle, and two daughters.
Jones made the following comment about Selle in response to the university’s question about how the nominee helps students relative to higher education..
“Michelle works diligently with her students, teaching them how to fill out college applications, apply for scholarships and scheduling mock interviews. She discusses college budgeting and social choices. She writes numerous recommendations. Michelle expends much energy and hard work to inspire and motivate her students to pursue post-secondary education.”
Meeker High School Principal Amy Chinn told the paper that “We are excited to have Michelle Selle teaching science here. She teaches rigorous classes and pushes students to achieve. Her passion for student learning is seen in everything she does.”
Teresa Schott received the Administrator of the Year Award from the Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented (CAGT) at the association’s state conference in Loveland on Oct 19. As a result, she was also an honored guest at their leadership forum, where Dr. Doris Candelarie, clinical assistant professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Denver, was the speaker. The award is also acknowledged by the Colorado Department of Education’s Office of Gifted Education as a leadership award.
Schott’s nomination came from Julia Barnett, the Northwest Colorado regional gifted education trainer, who emphasized Schott’s “incredible leadership in creating high expectations for the districts (Meeker and Rangely) in the Rio Blanco BOCES.”
Jacquelin Medina, chair of the CAGT Awards Committee, commented, in honoring Schott, that “There is a saying that ‘effective leaders help others to understand the necessity of change and to accept a common vision of the desired outcome.’ This describes the quiet yet strong leadership of Teresa Schott. She uses her positive thoughts and actions—not force, not ego—to gradually move the culture of schools to recognize and support gifted students and their families.”
Schott has worked in the field of education for more than 30 years. She started as a preschool teacher, moved to early childhood special education and then administration. She has been involved with gifted education as a parent, teacher and administrator for more than 20 years.
Schott said that for the past few years, “I have been working to support gifted students and their families in more rural areas. At times, it can be challenging to provide gifted students what they need to best extend their individual learning, but there is also a passion by staff and parents to reach out, to be creative and to go the distance to ensure that all kids are having their learning needs met.”
The association noted that when not in her Rangely BOCES office, Schott travels to state meetings that will bring new resources to her area or where she can advocate for rural schools and the needs of all students.
Cheryl Blackburn, now the gifted and talented (GNT) coordinator for the Rangely School District, said she is “very happy for Schott to have received this award and that Schott has worked hard to establish GNT personnel and student services at both ends of the county.”