We would like to thank all of Colorado’s charter public school teachers and the work they do each day to encourage, educate and inspire our children. The success and expansion of the charter public school sector (238 schools serving nearly 115,000 students) in Colorado would not be possible without these dedicated and talented teachers. Thank you, teachers!
The League also thought it would be fun to “shine a light” on our teachers and learn from them why they choose to teach in a charter public school. Be sure to read the teacher testimonials below.
Teacher Testimonials: Why I Teach in a Charter Public School
"I am a third grade teacher at Lincoln Academy Charter School in Arvada. I LOVE teaching at my charter school! First of all, there is such a great sense of community and involvement among all the parents and staff. There is a very strong sense of ownership since we are governed by our wonderful board of caring parents. We have very high standards and expectations for our students and all the parents are on board with helping to support those expectations. We feel like our school is an extension of family in the way we support each other!"
-Sharon Leasure, Lincoln Academy
“My name is Julie Pollack. I am a first grade teacher at Lincoln Academy Charter School. I chose to work at my school because of the incredible community and support system here at Lincoln. Parents choose to send their kids here because of our school pride and wonderful families. This sense of community is something that can tend to be lost at public schools. We also get to choose our curriculum, and this freedom allows us to have an academically rigorous school. Every student is challenged and has the opportunity to succeed at our school. I feel very privileged to work at a charter school.”
-Julie Pollack, Lincoln Academy Charter School
“I teach Middle School History at Lincoln Academy Charter School in Arvada, CO. I have taught at Lincoln Academy for twelve years and I am so glad that I chose to teach in a charter school. I choose to teach in a charter school because it allows me more freedom in my teaching style. The content is rigorous and expectations are high for the students and the teachers. I would love to see equitable funding for charter schools and for our schools to get the resources that we need. We don't get to hand pick our student body, so our students are just like all the other kids out there. I believe that charter schools make a difference in our students and in the community as a whole and I will continue to support charter schools and work in a charter school.”
-Emily Hall, Lincoln Academy Charter School
“I have been blessed to have worked under the leadership of Michael Munier from Jefferson Academy Charter School as a Spanish teacher in the years 2001-2011. I am currently at Lincoln Academy also teaching Spanish. Both my children received an outstanding education at Jefferson Academy and I can’t imagine having worked anywhere else but at a charter school. Our students have unique learning environments not offered at public schools and more one-on-one opportunities with their instructors. I came from working in public schools which were failing to provide classes which fit students' interests. I am a strong advocate for supporting charter schools and I don't know where our students would be without them.”
-Imogene Salva, Lincoln Academy Charter School
“I chose to work in a charter school for the parent involvement, administration support, and support and encouragement to teach how I feel students will learn best. The parents are involved with their child's academic success, and frequently offer to help in our classrooms. Our administration supports us on several fronts related to parents, curriculum, scheduling, meetings, observations, etc. They know we do our best with what we have, and they help whenever and wherever possible. At our school, the teachers have different styles, and I appreciate not being molded to teach a certain way - I teach how I feel my students learn best, and that may vary each day. I appreciate being able to do my job without being told how to do my job, all while taking their feedback and using it to make me a better teacher.”
-Katie Will, Lincoln Academy Charter School
“Teaching in a charter allows me the flexibility to really meet my students where they are, and yet hold them to a high standard and challenge them. I am held to a high standard, as well, as a professional. My school will not water things down to make it easy. In addition, we teach character rolled into the subject content and have the freedom to be patriotic. I am not part of a teachers union, and my views are not controlled by that lobby.”
-Cathy Ballenski, Loveland Classical Schools
“I teach at a charter school because my co-workers are innovative and creative. I have the ability to work with someone else and build projects. We truly celebrate learning!”
-Polly Gallagher, East Grand School District
“I am a first grade teacher at Lincoln Academy Charter K-8. It is a joy to use my calling and gifting as a teacher in a charter school. One reason I am able to enjoy my job so much is that my charter has high expectations for students and I know my administrators are always working to support me in holding my students to high standards. Using high quality research-based curriculum is another reason that my job is rewarding. Our curriculum, and the Core Knowledge philosophy, provides a solid foundation so that I know my students are learning the skills they will need in a scope and sequence that is tried and true. We are able to operate with this curriculum and philosophy because we are a community that can make our own decisions about what is best for our student body. We have committed board members, teachers and administration who make educational decisions based on our strong philosophy of education and what is best for this community. I am so happy with the culture and community that has blossomed over the years, as like-minded families and staff have come together with their common educational vision. For all of these reasons, I am so glad to be a charter school teacher and will hope to continue as such for many years to come.”
-Brynn Wennen, Lincoln Academy