Henry Weisser introduced the principal of Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School, Joe Cuddemi, to introduce the Teacher of the Month. Mr. Cuddemi told us about recently being nominated by the Colorado Department of Education as 1 of 3 schools in the State of Colorado to apply for the 2015USDE Blue Ribbon School Award! Schools that are nominated for this award are selected based on data that demonstrates consistently high trends in academic achievement over a 3-5 year period. He then introduced Cecilia Bonertz, a 7th and 8th grade math teacher as the Teacher of the Month by praising several of her values and achievements...

Ms. Bonertz started by saying she is fortunate to live in and teach in a community that supports teachers. She told us that teaching is her second career, her first being in finance and accounting. Kinard’s goal is to meet the needs of the whole child. Besides meeting all students needs, Ms. Bonertz is proud to be a member of a community of teachers working together as a body to collective improve their efforts every day. They call their teachers a professional learning community. Her goals when she started teaching were; continue to do training, keep learning herself, value relationships above numbers and computers and achieve a better balance in life. It was in the last goal about balance that she told us about what she thought the balance in schools should be.

A balance between that which is easy to test and measure and that which is not;
A balance between what we know about young people’s brain development and what we know about how important relationships are to learning;
A balance between academic, social, emotional and physical needs;
A balance that results in students that can manage stress, who can prioritize tasks, who can problem solve, communicate and cooperate, and;
A balance that helps teachers retain their joy and passion for teaching, and love of the students.

Ms. Bonertz said that balance is her goal, her dream and that is what she brings to the classroom every day.