Awards reward teachers |

Awards reward teachers

ASPEN The Aspen School District this week handed out 15 Distinguished Teacher and Staff Awards, a program longtime local entrepreneur Dick Butera initiated as a way to reward educators and staff members.The awards were as part of the traditional end-of-year celebration culminating in high school graduation May 26 at the Aspen Music Festival’s Benedict Music Tent.Awards went to Aspen Elementary School staffers Kay Erickson, fourth grade; Crispin Limacher, librarian; Julie Markalunas, speech; Jill Pisani, kindergarten; and Denise Vetromile, second grade.At Aspen Middle School, the recipients were Chris Keleher, eighth-grade language arts; Amy Roduner, fifth-grade; Marnie White, music (she also teaches music to elementary and high school students); and Chris Wheatley, who teaches philosophy and speech at the middle school, and debate at the high school.At Aspen High School, awards went to assistant principal Brad Bates; college counselor Kathy Klug; math teacher Bernadette Pelinski; science teacher Mark Whitley; and social studies teacher Tamiera Wilson.In an unusual move, one of the awards also went to Aspen Community School Principal Jim Gilchrist. He and Bates were the first administrators to receive the awards.According to the school district, there were 85 nominations this year, more than in any previous awards program. Nominations came from students, teachers and community members.A special committee selected the winners; each gets a check for $10,000 out of a fund Butera created.

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