Position: Assets teacher
School: Rolling Hills Elementary School
School District: Cherry Creek School District
City, State: Aurora, Colorado
About the Nominee: Coleen Thurber makes Rolling Hills Elementary School a better place to learn and work! Her role at Rolling Hills is to teach what is called an Assets program. This originated from curriculum that was based on the 40 Developmental Assets, which are identified as the building blocks of healthy development that help young children grow up to be healthy, caring and responsible. However, Mrs. Thurber has made the program all her own over the years. Students rotate through this program, and it is considered a "special" like Physical Education and Art. Per Mrs. Thurber, "In Assets class, all kids in grades K-5 have the opportunity to learn about and practice important life skills and character education to help them be the best person they can possibly be! It takes practice to turn out great, and in Assets class, we get lots of practice! We do units around powerful values and life lessons to lead us down a positive path as we grow and develop into fabulous people!"
Mrs. Thurber is a positive influence throughout the school. She leads the school's Positive Behavior Support Program, facilitates PBIS meetings, trains staff members, plans and rewards children that have earned incentives and manages the Student of the Month Recognition Program. Mrs. Thurber is very passionate when it comes to supporting students so that they grow academically and socially at Rolling Hills Elementary School. When she is not teaching or running the PBIS program, she can be seen meeting with students to problem-solve, lend an ear or just give hugs!
Mrs. Thurber also advises the School Student Council. This student group plans and supports many philanthropic events and school spirit events that bring the student body together. Over the years, they have raised money for Pennies for Patients, made cards for local Senior Centers, collected food for canned food drives and given $10,000 to Brent's Place, which supports families when their child is receiving cancer treatments.
Mrs. Thurber changes the lives of the staff members at Rolling Hills, as well. She always has a smile on her face and lights up any room that she enters. She is encouraging and supportive to any teacher or TA in need. Mrs. Thurber facilitates ways to acknowledge staff, and on a regular basis, she nominates others to be recognized at the Celebration with the Superintendent.
Mrs. Thurber is a LifeChanger. She impacts adults and students every day at Rolling Hills Elementary with her passion and love. She will leave behind a long legacy of teaching students how to live happy and healthier lives because they have known her.