Rifle teacher Laura Alfini honored for dedication, passion | PostIndependent.com

Rifle teacher Laura Alfini honored for dedication, passion

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“Never, never, never give up.”

That was the advice Rifle High School math teacher Laura Alfini took from her high school chemistry teacher.

“He told me whatever my future holds, he hoped I live life by this quote because he believed I would do great things for others, no matter what obstacles I would have to face along the way,” said Alfini in her L.S. Wood Teacher of the Year nomination essay.

The mantra has served her well, as the fifth-year RHS instructor was named this year’s L.S. Wood Charitable Trust Teacher of the Year for Garfield School District Re-2 on Thursday, May 2.

Alfini didn’t think she would win.

“I thought that the school could nominate more than one person, so I didn’t even really think that I won,” she said. “I’m really excited. There are so many exceptional teachers here at Rifle High School and we all strive to help all of the students every day.”

“I have learned so much from my colleagues here at Rifle High School,” Alfini continued. “They have helped me become the teacher I am today.”

In his nomination letter, school Principal Todd Ellis had high praise for Alfini.

“Mrs. Alfini’s classroom is like an education lab where innovative teaching strategies are continually tested and refined,” wrote Ellis. “Despite the great success she has found instructing young people, Laura is not satisfied with less than ideal. For Mrs. Alfini, ideal means all students learning at their highest abilities.”

Alfini also earned high marks from former student Joan Kuheim.

“One of the things that I admired the most about (Mrs. Alfini), was how much she got into teaching. The whole time she was in front of a class instructing, it was impossible not to see how much she loved it,” wrote Kuheim. “Whenever she would really get into a lesson, her eyes would light up and she was like a kid at Christmas. . .Her dedication and passion in the classroom is unmatched by any teacher I have had.”

The L.S. Wood Teacher of the Year award is in its 28th year and provides a $4,000 grant. The instructor receives $2,000, the remaining $2,000 goes to that teacher’s department, team or grade level for purchases designated by the teacher with principal approval.

Selections rotate each year from elementary to middle to high school teachers. Last year’s recipient was Tammy Williams from Rifle Middle School. Next year’s winner will be an elementary school teacher. Cindy Davis from Cactus Valley Elementary is the previous elementary school winner.

In addition, all nominated teachers receive $500.

Coal Ridge High School Science teacher Diana Buirgy was nominated for the 2013 L.S. Wood Charitable Trust Teacher of the Year award. Buirgy is in her sixth-year at Coal Ridge High School.

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