Basalt English language development teacher named 2016 Colorado Teacher of the Year

Leticia Guzman Ingram, an English language development teacher at Basalt High School, was named the 2016 Colorado Teacher of the Year in a surprise announcement by Dr. Elliott Asp, Colorado’s interim education commissioner, at a school assembly, Oct. 26.

“The selection committee heard some incredible stories from so many of you about how (Ingram) has not only done a great job teaching, but has touched and changed your lives,” said Asp in his announcement remarks. “She challenges herself not only in the classroom, but in every facet of her profession. She is passionate, respected and incredibly knowledgeable.”

          ** See video of Dr. Asp awarding Colorado Teacher of the Year to Ingram on CEA’s YouTube channel **

 Teacher of the year

Asp congratulates Ingram today at the Basalt High assembly

The Colorado Education Association is a longtime sponsor of the Colorado Teacher of the Year Award, and will provide Ingram with a stipend to travel in her new role and networking opportunities with past Colorado Teachers of the Year. CEA Vice President Amie Baca-Oehlert attended the ceremony to congratulate Ingram, a member of the Roaring Fork Community Education Association.

“Ms. Ingram has an amazing personal story that has led up to this day for her, but I believe she is the Colorado Teacher of the Year because she knows the story of each of you, her students,” Baca-Oehlert said in her remarks to Basalt students and faculty. “We honor her today because she reaches out to you. She listens to you.

“(Ingram) knows of the journey many of you have made to reach this country and attend this school, to be where you are today,” Baca-Oehlert continued. “She understands the challenges you’ve faced, the obstacles you’ve overcome, and the remarkable resolve you’ve demonstrated to even be in this building this morning. Ms. Ingram is a dedicated teacher because she connects with her students every single day, encouraging them to do more, climb higher and go farther than they even think possible.”

          ** See video of Baca-Oehlert’s remarks on CEA’s YouTube channel ** 

Teacher of the year

Linda Barker, CEA’s director of teaching and learning, Ingram and Baca-Oehlert at the ceremony, Oct 26

“I am so humbled and honored, and all I did was tell your stories (to the committee). So it really wasn’t me. This award goes to Basalt High School,” Ingram said to cheering Basalt students at the ceremony. “You guys are the inspiration for all the staff here, so I just want to thank you. I really believe in each and every one of you and I believe Basalt High School is the best because of all your stories. It’s amazing and you guys really inspire me all the time.”

          ** See video of Ingram’s remarks on CEA’s YouTube channel **

Ingram will compete for the National Teacher of the Year Award and will be honored with other state Teachers of the Year by President Obama at a White House ceremony. The two finalists for the 2016 Colorado Teacher of the Year Award are Jose Martinez III of Bear Creek High School and Jefferson County Education Association, and Colby Ricci of Breckenridge Elementary School.