The Rotary Clubs of Fort Collins honored three PSD teachers - Brenda Hernández, Jennifer Martinez, and Gabby Wymore - with the prestigious Teachers of the Year Award at a recent ceremony celebrating educators. This marks the 25th year of the award, which was first given by the Fort Collins Rotary Club.
Here is more about this year’s outstanding winners:
Second-grade Teacher at Irish Elementary, a Dual Language School
Brenda Hernández was drawn to teaching by her passion for language, something she first discovered in her high school Latin class. At Irish Elementary School, she easily switches between English and Spanish during class time, helping her students develop fluency and literacy in both languages.
Mrs. Hernández has been a teacher for 20 years and has spent the past 18 years of her career educating students at Irish Elementary School. She is passionate about the school’s mission to help students become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural community members.
She established the school’s Flor Antigua group, an after-school program that teaches students traditional Mexican dances. She knows that culture and language go hand-in-hand and wants students to have a deep appreciation of both.
Mrs. Hernández has spent her summer breaks continuing to help students through tutoring and summer school classes.
Mrs. Hernández grew up in Colorado and earned her education degree from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
Music Teacher at Bacon Elementary School
Jennifer Martinez works with students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Bacon Elementary School. She believes that every child deserves the best we can give each day.
In 2018, Mrs. Martinez was awarded Music Innovation grant money from the Bohemian Foundation to provide music services at PSD Extended School Year during the month of June. During this time, she brought musical experiences to 64 PreK-5th grade students during their summer program.
Mrs. Martinez is a Kodaly Certified music teacher and a trained Modern Band teacher. She presented her work on differentiation in the music room at the Modern Band Summit in July of 2018. In 2014, she was the founding Creative Director of the Salina Youth Choir and the KMEA (Kansas Music Educator’s Association) Honor Choir Chair in North-Central Kansas.
Mrs. Martinez earned a Master’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Special Music Education from Wichita State University in 2016. She also holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Hastings College.
American History, Yearbook AVID Teacher at Blevins Middle School
Gabby Wymore was born and raised in Colorado and grew up in Poudre School District. She attended Bennet Elementary School, Blevins Middle School and Rocky Mountain High School. She has been a teacher for 14 years and has spent more than a decade of that career at PSD. She is currently in her ninth year of teaching at Blevins.
Ms. Wymore has taught a wide range of social studies classes for students in middle and high school. She currently teaches eighth grade U.S. History, Yearbook, and a seventh-grade AVID class. She is an assistant track coach at Blevins and an assistant cross-country coach at Rocky Mountain High School.
This summer, she completed her Principal Licensure and Master’s degree in Education and Human Resources Studies at Colorado State University.
The past three years, she has taken a group of eighth graders to Costa Rica for a service learning trip. She has a 17-year-old son who currently attends Rocky Mountain High School. She loves to spend time outside and with her family, friends and animals.