Sacca misses teacher award |

Sacca misses teacher award

Suzie Romig
Special to the Post Independent

Although she didn’t come out the top teacher in the state, the Roaring Fork School District is proud of the statewide recognition awarded longtime Roaring Fork High School teacher Karol Sacca.

Sacca was up against some sharp competition as one of four finalists for 2004 Colorado Teacher of the Year selected by the Colorado Department of Education and the state Board of Education.

Sacca, family members, current and former students and RFHS principal Wendy Moore traveled to Denver for the award banquet Wednesday night.

“I am so happy for her for that recognition, and we as a community are so proud of her,” said Moore, noting Sacca was the only Western Slope teacher among the nine semi-finalists and four finalists.

The teacher of the year, reportedly Colorado’s oldest statewide education award, was presented to Henry McIntosh, an AP English teacher at John Mall High School in Walsenburg.

“Henry, who won, is a miracle worker with kids. He’s very, very inspiring,” an enthusiastic Sacca said Thursday.

Organizers said the state honor is the end result of an arduous selection process, including a 16-page application that is reviewed by a selection committee from the education community, a personal interview with the committee for semi-finalists and a committee classroom visit for finalists.

“It’s really honoring. They make you feel like all teachers are the best,” Sacca said of the program. “I have come back with a renewed energy for recruiting people into the teaching profession and for connecting reading and community. Teaching is content, but it’s also the passion to do it.”

In addition to Sacca, also in the running for 2004 were Janet Junkin, an eighth grade social studies teacher from Douglas County, and Char Sorensen, a sixth grade teacher from Jefferson County.

Community members are welcome to stop by or call Sacca at the Roaring Fork High media center in Carbondale to give her best wishes and congrats. Knowing Sacca, visitors will probably walk away with a boost of energy and a suggestion for a good book to read.

Locals who want to get involved in Sacca’s creative and successful reading mentoring programs, such as the Alex Project, can contact her at 384-5762 or

Sacca is working to spread the Alex Project, which pairs a high school student with a community reader, across the state. Programs already have been started in Gunnison and Steamboat Springs.

As a teacher of the year finalist, Sacca may be asked to serve on various state committees to help promote education in Colorado.

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