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Five Minutes With …

Post Independent Writer

Krissy RussellKrissy Russell came to Colorado Rocky Mountain School after a year at the Gore Range Natural Science School, but before that she was in a different place all together. Russell spent eight years working on a Ph.D. in environmental science in Virginia. She studied atmospheric science and “was really into the acid-rain scene.”What she liked most, though, was being outdoors and presenting research results to her colleagues, so she packed up her cats – Pfefa and Fiver, named from the book “Watership Down” – and started teaching. The rest, as they say, is history. E-mail address: krussell@crms.orgAge: 32School, grade and subject: Colorado Rocky Mountain School, 10th-grade chemistry, 11th- and 12th-grade AP chemistry, 11th- and 12th-grade environmental science, science department chairwoman, heads the recycling program at CRMSFamily information: Rocky, 33, husband of five months; two cats, Fiver and PfefaTeaching experience: One year at Gore Range Natural Science School in Red Cliff teaching outdoor education. This is my second year at CRMS.Why are you a teacher? If you worked in another profession before teaching, why did you change? I studied atmospheric science in graduate school for eight years and found that my favorite part of the week was communicating my research to my colleagues. Teaching seemed like the obvious career choice for me.What do you like most about teaching? Definitely the interaction with students. I could spend hours and hours talking with students and getting to know them. I’m also very impressed with the creative ideas young people have – it’s very inspiring to me personally.What do you do in your free time? My favorite is taking long, exhausting hikes – I usually get my best ideas for lesson plans while hiking. My husband and I have been researching sustainable development and alternative energy in recent months, as well.What’s your favorite lesson to teach? Anything to do with the natural environment – how it works, how humans are affecting it, what challenges we face in the future. This is my passion, so I find it easy to teach.What was your favorite teacher like? My favorite teacher was my high school Spanish teacher, Ms. Copeland. She was always very interested in her students personally, and I found it refreshing to get to know a teacher in that way. She was very kind and patient.What is something interesting about you that no one else knows? This is kind of a hard question because I’m a pretty open person. I would say that very few people know that I’ve been keeping a pretty detailed journal since I was 13 years old.If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be, and who would you take with you? I think Rocky and I would take a year off and do a world tour. There is so much to learn from other cultures, we would probably need a lifetime to even get started, but a year would be nice.What do you miss most about being a kid? I miss spending holidays surrounded by my extended family members and their stories of my great-grandparents back in the day.Each Tuesday the Post Independent will feature a teacher from a private school, the Roaring Fork School District Re-1, Garfield School District No. 16 or Garfield School District Re-2. Ryan Graff compiles “Five Minutes With … “Each Tuesday the Post Independent will feature a teacher from a private school, the Roaring Fork School District Re-1, Garfield School District No. 16 or Garfield School District Re-2. Ryan Graff compiles “Five Minutes With … “


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