My name is... Hilary Wimmer

Mountain Range High School business teacher wins Colorado Teacher of the Year 2020

Posted 1/21/20

The road to teaching I went to Arvada West and I’m grateful I got an excellent education in Jeffco. I was really fortunate to have what I had, and Arvada was a great place to live. We go back to …

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My name is... Hilary Wimmer

Mountain Range High School business teacher wins Colorado Teacher of the Year 2020

Posted

The road to teaching

I went to Arvada West and I’m grateful I got an excellent education in Jeffco. I was really fortunate to have what I had, and Arvada was a great place to live. We go back to visit all the time.

After I graduated, I went to CU Denver and got my degree in business. I started out not going into teaching and when I did begin teaching, I had to go through an alternative pathway; I was a full-time teacher and then I went to class Monday night, so it was really a trial by fire. Later on, I helped open our new school (Mountain Range) back in 2006.

`Business and teaching together’

This year, I’ve been teaching several classes — finance, intro to business, principals of management; things we all wish we could have learned in high school. I became the DECA club (competitive business club) chapter sponsor. We started with 13 students, and now we have more than 400 students participating. One of the best things is, kids will come back and say “you changed my life.” This is the program that kept me excited about school or kept me in school.’ I have an amazing job because I get to pair business and teaching together.

Touring the country to learn about teaching

I don’t know 100% what my year will look like. There’s different things that come up: In February, I have a national induction for all the teachers of the year across the US. Throughout the year, we’ll be going to the Google headquarters in Palo Alto, NASA Space Camp, there will be a chance to go on an educational tour in Switzerland and Germany, and they announced at the (awards) assembly, “by the way, your teacher is going to the White House.” It’s so overwhelming, and I would encourage people to nominate teachers. It’s one of the best gifts you can give a teacher.

Priorities as Teacher of the Year

Trying to get financial literacy for kids into all Colorado schools is my main priority. I really want schools to investigate ways to tie the working world into the classroom, because parents need to see how we’re preparing students for a career. I want to raise awareness around mental health, as my brother’s suicide last year really opened my eyes to the needs for mental health awareness. I’ve led our school’s Escape the Vape campaign. Some of my students have had to go to the ER because of vaping, and they’re vaping because of stress and anxiety. We really need to give students the daily skills to address those things. And, I want people who are not thinking about going into education to think about becoming teachers; it’s never too late to get into the career.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is…, contact Casey Van Divier at cvandivier@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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