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Teacher Appreciation Week 2019 (Wednesday)
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Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6 - May 10)



Celebrating Charter School Teachers

We'd like to thank all of Colorado's charter school teachers for the work they do daily to encourage, educate and inspire children. The success and expansion of the charter school sector in Colorado (255 schools serving over 124,000 students) would not be possible without these dedicated and talented teachers. Thank you, teachers!

We are recognizing some of these teachers this week. The League asked for teacher testimonials recognizing teachers that have made a huge difference in the lives of their students. Each of the teachers below were nominated by someone at their charter school. 


Still interested in nominating a teacher? NOMINATE a teacher now. Deadline is Thursday, May 9. 

Thank you for positively impacting your students lives. We appreciate all that you do! One lucky teacher that was nominated, will win a $250 travel voucher. Stay tuned!



Wednesday, May 7

Karen Liotta
American Academy (Lincoln Meadows campus)

"Mrs. Liotta is one in a million. One of the main reasons that I picked her for this is because she is understanding. In math class, we get homework every single day (except on test and quiz days) and whenever we can't understand, she does her best to help us, which is a lot. Not only understanding, but she is also kind of light hearted but makes sure her students have discipline. She is the perfect mix of strict, kind, and everything. On Pi day, she went above and beyond in making the huge pie chain that took a lot of time to figure out. And she knows when we go off on a tangent; we, her math class, never go too far away from our subject. Mrs. Liotta also makes math relatable to our everyday life. This helps us tremendously. I believe that my math teacher, Mrs. Liotta, truly deserves a shout-out. Thank you! :)"


Chris Botvinick
Peak to Peak Charter School

"She always gives you second chances. She supports you. She makes learning fun. I think she is very funny. She also helps you plan ahead for assignments. She also makes tests not that scary."


Patrick Walker 
GOAL Academy

"Pat has created engaging curriculum using different mediums that are accessible to all students. He truly meets students where they are at and has engaged students who previously rarely submitted work. While he is a new teacher to our school, he has made a huge impact in working across departments and getting teachers to collaborate for the better of the student population."


Marti Oliva
Peak to Peak Charter School 

"Ms. Oliva is funny and she is really kind. She always reminds us to keep our reading logs in our red folder. She makes learning fun and makes sure spelling tests are not too hard. She does read alouds a lot and when she does, it makes me love reading."


Chadwick Riggs
American Academy

"I think that Mr. Riggs should be nominated because he is overall an amazing teacher. During the second trimester he taught students how to be respectful and did it in a kind way. He is always very kind and encouraging, helping his students as much as possible even outside of his class. He made school as a whole seem so much better because of the positivity that he influenced. Mr. Riggs gave students the recognition that they deserve. Also, Mr. Riggs taught well, and shows us things we would never have known unless we had been in his class."


Tatiana Grogan
Academy of Arts and Knowledge

"My daughter had a terrible year last year at a regular public school. She was bullied, ignored by staff, and generally no longer wanted to go to school. We moved Ella to AAK this year, and it has made a HUGE difference. Her teacher, Mrs. Grogan, spent extra time with Ella, helping her fit in and adjust to the new school and curriculum. She emailed us updates and made Ella feel a part of not only the school, but a part of her class. Mrs. Grogan helped my child by empowering her and including her.  Ella now loves school and looks to Mrs. Grogan as a "hero"...and in our eyes, she is. She is tough, but loving and truly cares about the students in her class."


Keaton Smith
Academy of Arts and Knowledge

"Mr. Smith has gone above and beyond for my son this year. My son has experienced a couple of traumatic experiences, and he has always felt comfortable confiding in Mr. Smith about how he is feeling. Mr. Smith is empathetic, while ensuring my kiddo is learning and doing what he should be doing, and I attribute this with my son being able to excel in his studies. The caring attitude of all staff we have been exposed to in the last two years has been amazing. I can't imaging finding a better school for my son to attend. We truly appreciate Mr. Smith and his teaching manner has set the stage for my son's education for years to come. Thank you!"


Kirsten Gaskell
American Academy of Castle Pines

"Kirsten Gaskell is an amazing and passionate teacher who demonstrates what it means to go above and beyond every single day. I have too many examples to list, but here are a few.

Kirsten teaches compassion and sympathy. She started a service club for our school, giving students the opportunity to participate in community service projects regularly. She also gets students involved in collecting resources for schools and children in need. In addition, she advocates for our planet and comes up with projects that help students appreciate our planet and use its resources wisely.

To encourage reading, Kirsten took it upon herself to raise enough funds over the summer to donate one book a month to every student in her class. She wants every child to have the opportunity to read outside of school.

Kirsten donates her own time and money back to the school. She donates gifts and donations of time to our school fundraisers. She prepared a special class cook book, collecting recipes from every student in the class and other faculty. Then she donated supplies for the recipes and kitchen to the basket to raise additional funds. She also prepares special projects for our students in addition to the standard curriculum.

Kirsten exemplifies what it means to be an extraordinary teacher. In my 6 years of having children in school, I have never seen a more dedicated teacher. She is kind, compassionate, loving, smart, and motivated. Our school and children are truly blessed to have her as a role model."


Patrick Walker
GOAL Academy High School

"Patrick not only takes the time to ensure each student understands their work, but to also incorporate different learning styles into his courses. His Career Exploration course is beneficial and a tool all students can use in their years preparing for the future. Pat has also taken the time to encourage staff members to view his course material and participate in the online Flip Grid video responses to motivate students completion. Pat is a kind soul and sweet man, he deserves a shout-out during Teacher Appreciation Day & National Charter Schools Week, I hope he is considered."


Kelly Pilger
GOAL High School

"She is very enthusiastic, happy, spreads positiveness, she is very festive, and when she helps students she always appears to be in a good mood."