Reyelts CMC Faculty of the Year
Last week, Colorado Mountain College President Dr. Bob Spuhler and Rifle Campus Dean Pam Arsenault made a surprise visit to Assistant Professor Michael Reyelts’ English as a Second Language class. Spuhler and Arsenault gave Reyelts a $600 check and a stylized eagle plaque for having been selected as CMC’s 2004 Faculty of the Year for all of the college’s 13 locations across western Colorado.
The reasons Reyelts received the honor are many. Reyelts has taught with CMC since 1998.
“He not only teaches us English, he inspires us to keep going and not give up when things get frustrating,” says former student Leticia Diaz.
Diaz, who now has a GED, said, “I explained to him that I want to be a bi-lingual teacher. So he went to go see the college counselor with me and translated some.” Reyelts also took time to help Diaz understand her homework in her regular college classes.
To challenge his students further Reyelts co-authored a grant to add “Civics” to his ESL curriculum. With the grant, students began making trips to city hall, the library and other government agencies to learn how things are done here in America.
Reyelts has also added technology to ESL. “We decided to have students create a community resource book on the computer. For example, students made a page all about the library. We also use Internet sites, which allow students individual practice of English. “
Reyelts was invaluable to the Rifle community after one of his students died in the July 2001 Michael Stagner killings.
“This tragedy shook the confidence of the Hispanic community,” said Reyelts.
“The ESL program attempted to console and assure the Hispanic community and connect them to the greater community.” Reyelts also helped organize community activities to debrief about the tragedy and translated the trial.
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