Glenwood Springs native, sixth-grade teacher is L.S. Wood honoree |

Glenwood Springs native, sixth-grade teacher is L.S. Wood honoree

Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Some of Ann Deyarmond’s own teachers growing up in Glenwood Springs were L.S. Wood teachers of the year, including her high school chemistry teacher, Bob Jones, the very first teacher honored with the annual award.

That early inspiration helped steer Deyarmond, a 1984 Glenwood Springs High School graduate, into teaching as a career.

The reward came back around when Deyarmond, now a Glenwood Springs Middle School sixth-grade teacher, was recently named the Roaring Fork School District’s L.S. Wood Middle School Teacher of the Year.

“These kids are why I love it,” Deyarmond said. “I look at them and think, if this is our future, honestly, I have a lot of hope. They inspire me and teach me to be a better teacher.”

And then there are her fellow teachers, to whom she said she owes a lot of credit.

“I am so honored by this award, but this year especially I feel that I am only one small part of what is happening at Glenwood Springs Middle School,” Deyarmond said. “We are working as a team to meet the individual needs of each student.”

Those other teachers ” along with school and district administrators, parents and students, all of whom are part of the selection process ” felt she is deserving.

“She is the epitome of what a teacher is supposed to be,” GSMS Principal Brad Ray said. “She lives by the motto: Kids don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

“She puts in the extra time, and does all that extra stuff when nobody’s looking,” he said.

The other nominee from the district this year was Basalt Middle School teacher Val Black.

“The parents and students who participated in the selection process both told the story of the commitment and passion that each of these teachers bring to their roles,” according to a school district announcement of the award.

The L.S. Wood Foundation will award $4,000 to Deyarmond, half of which goes to the school and half for her personal use. Black will receive a $500 award as well. Both teachers will be honored at upcoming school assemblies.

“I have some special projects I would like to do with the kids,” Deyarmond said of her plans for the award money. “It’s nice to have some money to do some things that you can’t always do on a teacher’s salary.”

She added that it’s an honor to be in the same category as Black.

“She has been such a leader in this district in so many ways, for so many years,” Deyarmond said.

Deyarmond has been teaching at GSMS for seven years, six of which have been in the sixth-grade classroom. Prior to that, she taught at Carbondale Middle School off and on, taking a few years off to raise her own children, Megan and Ryan, who are currently both students at GSMS.

“My educational philosophy is that each child is unique and brings to the table their own needs, strengths and stories,” she said. “We can’t control all the variables in their lives, but we can control what happens here.”

What’s called a “flexible grouping” system that was begun at GSMS this school year is a true team effort, she added.

“It fully supports our district’s commitment to true standards-based education, and the results we have seen have been phenomenal,” Deyarmond said. “Flexible grouping allows us to look at the individual needs of each student, and to meet those needs.

“I used to look at a classroom of students, but I believe I became a much better teacher when I realized that every kid is an individual with different needs and different stories,” she said.

The teacher of the year award is sponsored by the L.S. Wood Trust. The trust began with the death in 1965 of Leighton S. Wood, the owner of Mid-Continent Coal and Coke, which, for nearly half a century, operated the coal mines near Redstone.

Contact John Stroud: 384-9160

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