Since 1996, the Rotary Club of Fort Collins has recognized a Teacher of the Month, selected by the Poudre School District and honored by the Club as an outstanding representative of the profession and member of the community.

Our first PSD teacher recognition took place last week. Jim Cooper visited Rocky Mountain HS last Thursday to meet Renee Perry and her assistant principal, Ian Wells. Renee is a special education teacher . She had robust support - her principal and 2 assistant principals were at the meeting indicating how much they appreciate her long service at Rocky.
The Rotary Club of Fort Collins Teacher of the Month for May, 2023 is Laura Beese.  Laura is a devoted music teacher at Shepardson Elementary.  She keeps the school filled with music through a large multi-class choir and upper-grade rock bands and special attention to her autistic students.
Liz Farrell is Teacher of the Month for Rotary Club of Fort Collins for March, 2023.  Liz is an Integrative Services (Special Education) teacher at the Cache La Poudre Elementary School.  Among her many responsibilities, she manages a caseload of individual students, is the I.S. Department head, and 6th grade team leader.
Clarissa Hernandez is the November, 2022 Teacher of the Month.  She has several years experience teaching fifth graders, and she currently teaches kindergarten students at Irish Elementary Escuela Bilingue.  Irish is a bilingual school, and Clarissa does all her work in two languages.  She is a respected leader in innovative, culturally responsive pedagogy for the diverse staff and students at Irish.
Josh Moore is the Rotary Club of Fort Collins Teacher of the Month for May, 2022.  Josh teaches 5th graders at Olander Elementary.  He personifies the values required for excellences in education and the relationships necessary with students, parents, and colleagues.  He was particularly skilled at developing the technological requirements of instruction during the Covid pandemic and assisting other teachers in their use.
Sarah Filkowski is the February Teacher of the Month for the Rotary Club of Fort Collins.  Sarah is a second grade teacher at Linton Elementary.  She is proficient at using all of the resources and tools available to meet the needs of each student.  She leads the schools literacy committee and also serves on the district committee.
The January, 2022 Teacher of the Month is Bethke Elementary School teacher Kambri Luna.  After teaching 5th grade and 2nd grade students, Bri earned a masters degree in reading.   Now she is an accomplished literacy interventionist and instructional coach who works with struggling students and also supports the reading and literacy efforts of other teachers.
Denny Bain of Poudre High School was honored as Teacher of the Month in December. Denny teaches U.S. Government and Economics classes.  He has implemented at Poudre  “No Backpack Day” for incoming students to ease them into the Poudre culture  and its sense of community.  He leads  a month long food drive in Northern Colorado called Feed our Families.  And his family runs a non-profit in Haiti called Love for Haiti.  His family includes two adopted children from Haiti.
Jim Cooper introduced Kirk Samples, principal of Kruse Elementary, who then introduced Rebecca Kates, RCFC's Teacher of the Month.  Highly regarded by her colleagues, Becca’s philosophy is “ it takes a village to make a teacher”.  She expressed thanks to and respect for, the students, parents, administration, counselors, and extended family who make up the Kruse 'Village'.
This month, January of 2020, our honored teacher was Marge Couget, who has been a kindergarten teacher at Beattie Elementary School for nine years Her career spans 28 years of teaching. She was introduced by her principal, Dave Patterson.  Presenting Couget with a check for $250 from RCFC was Committee Member, Marty Bachman.
Melissa Mize, a second grade teacher from Bacon Elementary School was RCFC's Teacher of the Month for December.  She was briefly introduced by Cale Wicker, an Assistant Principal at Bacon.  Melissa explained that she herself once struggled at school, making her keenly aware of the need to foster the growth of all students by making them aware of their progress.  This is accomplished nowadays by a team of teachers.  Melissa is one of the leaders in bringing about collective teacher efficacy.  She is the “go to” teacher at her school and we were delighted to honor her.
This month RCFC honored a teacher from Rice Elementary School in Wellington, Sharilyn Zerbst.  This five year veteran at Rice is a specialist in intervention for gifted and talented students and also for disadvantaged students, such as those suffering from dislexia.  
 
Sharilyn was introduced by her assistant principal, Melissa Duve.  She presented a lengthy account of her career and how she seeks to teach every child in her care every day, urging them on to love, to inspire and to develop.  She believes that all students can learn and grow beyond their expectations.
 
In her capacity of an interventionist, Sharilyn must  develop close collaboration with her teaching colleagues, whom she greatly admires.  She is also the recipient of returned admiration from them.  Sharilyn speaks warmly of how much her colleagues have taught her.
Henry Weisser introduced Dr. Thomas Dodd, the 2017 United States Principal of the Year who introduced February's Teacher of the Month, Kelly Ross.  Mrs Ross teaches both French and German at Lesher IB middle school.   Her resume is full and impressive—21 years at Lesher, 12 summer trips to Europe with students, softball coach, scorekeeper at games, etc.  She truly CONNECTS with her students because of her PMA (positive mental attitude).  Mrs. Ross spoke very energetically and enthusiastically (and at length) about teaching and her students.  
March Teacher of the Month was Jennifer Martinez of  Bacon Elementary School. She was introduced by her Principal, Joe Horky.  After leading  us in singing she gave an account of how music classes have evolved since most Rotarians took the subject. Activities such as song writing, playing in different keys and building a song on computers were among the many new techniques she mentioned. Ms. Martinez stressed that it is important to meet students where they are, including students of all interests and abilities, and autistic and disabled students. In her classes joyful participation initiates the process of music education.