2017 CCLD Teacher of the Year Award
The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities (CCLD) awarded the 2017 Teacher of the Year to Clark Stukey. Clark is currently a Special Education department chair at Chatfield High School in Littleton, Colorado.
“I have learned many things in my 24 years of teaching, but if there is one thing I can pass on, it is power of the relationships we establish. As a teacher of students with learning disabilities, the importance of relationships I develop between my students, parents, co-workers, and administrators cannot be understated. Trusting for a parent that their child will be challenged, but supported, encouraged, but not enabled, is not easy. This is where my focus begins before the student starts their first day. I take pride in listening and learning to develop a program that fits the student and their family’s needs. In understanding and appreciating the relationships I have developed with my fellow teachers and administrators, I know that a team approach with consistent communication will be established.”
“Clark is a highly effective teacher who is dedicated to his students, has a passion for the art of teaching, and is our Special Education department chair. His patience is exemplary, as he works with a wide range of learning levels on a daily basis, while at the same time demanding higher level thinking from his students. His wait time is that of an experience teacher and he is very diligent in making sure all kids speak and participate daily. Visiting his classroom, it is easily seen there is mutual respect between teacher and students.” – Chad Broer, Principal of Chatfield High School
“Clark invited my son to participate in Chatfield Senior High School’s unified basketball program. I thanked him for the invite, but knew it was not for my son, Jeffrey. Clark continued to encourage us to at least come to a practice and give it a try. We did and it was amazing. Clark had students of all abilities working together to form a team. The heart he has put into this program is undeniably his strongest characteristic. Clark makes sure everyone belongs, everyone is included, and everyone matters. Over the years that original team consisting of a few athletes has grown into four Chatfield teams and spread throughout the district. Clark started a tournament where every year 20 teams with over 200 athletes with special needs participate in a day of competition, friendship, and community. Without Clark’s encouragement, I never would have had Jeffrey join the basketball program. All these years later basketball is still one of the most important social aspects of Jeffrey’s life. Clark never had Jeffrey in class, but by far he is the most important teacher to have entered Jeffrey’s life. We are forever grateful for his encouragement and support.” –Susie Stevens, mother of former student
“Clark is the definition of ‘advocate for persons with disabilities’ as he ‘walks his talk’ each day in his classroom and beyond the walls of the classroom setting. He believes in ALL children succeeding to the highest standard possible and creates opportunities for students in many districts to achieve these standards.” – Barbara Ritchie, Coordinator of Special Programs for Littleton Public Schools
“Clark’s strengths lie in his knowledge of content and effective instructional techniques, as well as in his desire to continually learn and grow in his professional practice and personal worldview. Clark has a strong set of core values with regard to the importance of a comprehensive education for all students. He is thoughtful and deliberate in his work with each student he serves to enable them to grow, learn, and reach their potential. Clark’s students find great success and satisfaction in their school experience.” —Wendy Rubin, Superintendent for Englewood Schools
“Mr. Stukey makes a lasting impact on his students in how he truly cares for each person. He doesn’t limit himself as a teacher, he is also an ally, therapist, advocate, and most importantly a friend.” —Vanessa Wolberg, student at Chatfield High School
The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is honored to recognize Clark Stukey as our 2017 Teacher of the Year.
2016 CCLD Teacher of the Year Award
The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities (CCLD) awarded the 2016 Teacher of the Year to Heather Creech. Heather is currently a speech-language pathologist and special education generalist in the Student Achievement Services Department at Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, CO.
“My classroom presents as a unique community of learners that varies in demographics, academic abilities, and learning styles. My role as a teacher is to equip my students with the academic tools and the independence they need to become caring, contributing members of society. To accomplish this goal, I act as a guide, providing access to information rather than acting as the primary source of information. My goal is to inspire them to remain focused on their strengths so they have more control over their world than they have ever had before. Given opportunities in a safe and supportive environment, students construct knowledge by building self-assurance so that they can discover answers for themselves and practice and refine reading and writing skills in authentic situations.”
“Heather is the teacher students will think back on as the teacher they knew cared for them, the one they remember as the most important adult in their high school career. She is the one past graduates will return to say hello and let her know how they are doing, because they know she wants to know and she still cares. Heather is a teacher who sets a tone for the department that teaching in special education begins and ends with caring for students.” – Mark Semmler, Special Education Coordinator
“Heather Creech has been my daughter, Clarissa’s, case manager for the last two years at Cherry Creek High School. Clarissa succeeded at Cherry Creek despite her learning challenges. Heather encourages her to stretch herself and to ‘push’ her limits but provides warmth and compassion in doing so. When Clarissa started to lose her hearing last year, Heather made sure that everything was ‘handled’ from the people we needed to contact with at the school to the review of the IEP to accommodate her hearing loss.”
“As a case manager, Heather’s desire to help her students achieve their goals is evident in her persistence, creativity, and knowledge of high school and post high school options. She meets regularly with her students to assess current classroom performance, reteach material, and create long-term goals. Even as the challenges and stresses of the job build, Heather is the picture of optimism and positivity.” – Annemarie Dempsey, Co-work at Cherry Creek High School
The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is honored to recognize Heather Creech as our 2016 Teacher of the Year.