Award ‘humbling’ for RHS business teacher |

Award ‘humbling’ for RHS business teacher

After 30 years in education, it takes a lot to shock Rifle High School business instructor Marilyn Latham. But last week’s news that she had been awarded the L.S. Wood Charitable Trust Teacher of the Year award for Garfield Re-2 was enough to astonish her.

“It was a shock,” said Latham of the award. “It is humbling. It definitely has a lot of meaning that a group recognizes the teachers and the work we do.”

Latham received the award Sunday night at the Exclamation Point restaurant in Glenwood Springs. Rifle High School Principal David Smucker nominated her.

“Marilyn is so dedicated to the students at Rifle High School,” Smucker said. “Here’s a gal who has been teaching for 30 years, and her level of energy, her knowledge and how she organizes are beyond compare. She is just incredible.”

Latham has been a business instructor at Rifle High for all of her 30 years at the school. She has added many additional responsibilities over the years including mock trial and Future Business Leaders of America. Each year, her students are a force to be reckoned with in the regional and state competitions.

“She is a true professional,” Smucker said. “She is always looking for ways to improve.”

The L.S. Wood Charitable Trust was set up in 1966 after the death of Laighton S. Wood. Wood was the owner of the Mid-Continent coal mine outside Redstone, and he left the bulk of his estate in a trust to further the education of local students and to reward outstanding teachers. Each year the foundation gives area high school students scholarships, and awards to a teacher from Garfield Re-1 and Garfield Re-2.

As part of the award, Rifle High School received $2,000, with which Latham says the business department will “buy something special.” Latham also received $2,000.

The L.S. Wood award rotates through the grade levels. Last year’s Garfield Re-2 recipient was Rifle Middle School science teacher Joyce Wizer. In 2002, the recipient was Roy Moore Elementary teacher Eva Pasiewicz.

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