Two Denver Public Schools Teachers Named As Finalists for Colorado Teacher of the Year Award

Oct. 1, 2020

Rachel Lamb and Gerardo Muñoz Are Among Seven Finalists Statewide

Denver – The Colorado Department of Education announced finalists for the 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year competition. Two Denver Public Schools (DPS) teachers, Rachel Lamb and Gerardo Muñoz, were named as finalists.

“Congratulations to these exceptional educators!” said Susana Cordova, DPS Superintendent. “When I think back to my education, I always remember those teachers that truly touched my life and shaped my future. You deserve to be recognized for all you do to inspire, guide and uplift our students on a daily basis.”

Rachel Lamb is a second grade teacher at Inspire Elementary School. Lamb is known for lessons that are punctuated by real-world applications, layered by technology, design thinking and project-based subjects. Her perspective on education has resulted in becoming a National Board Certified Teacher, Nearpod Pionear, National Geographic Certified Educator, two-time TEDxABQ Education Speaker, Apple Distinguished Educator, PBS Digital Innovator, the Henry Ford Teacher Innovator and an ISTE Making IT Happen award recipient.

“What an unbelievable opportunity to be selected as a Colorado Teacher of the Year Finalist,” said Lamb. “It is an honor to my Navajo ancestors and the many innovators in my life. However, I don’t believe that is was necessarily I who has been selected, but my students and their tireless work. I am merely a vessel for their voices, creativity, and vision.”

Gerardo Muñoz teaches high school and middle school social studies at the Denver Center for International Studies at Baker. Muñoz has been involved in a number of programs, initiatives, campaigns and organizations to promote equity and antiracism, including EduColor, Choose the National Education Association’s Racial and Social Justice Conference, and the University of Colorado’s Teachers of Color and Allies Summit.

“This incredible honor is not something that I accomplished alone,” said Muñoz. “If I have accomplished anything as a teacher, I have done so because I am a part of a community that inspires, motivates, and shows solidarity. I was raised by people who cared deeply about making the world a better place for youth. I grew up in the East Side, where community, culture, and strength were modeled daily.”

Each year, the Colorado Teacher of the Year program recognizes exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled K-12 classroom teachers. The finalist will be announced at the end of October and becomes Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year award.