Autumn Rivera ’04, MAT ’05 Named Colorado Teacher of the Year

Autumn Rivera, a Colorado College 2004 biology graduate who also earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching at CC in 2005, has been named Colorado’s 2022 Teacher of the Year. Rivera is a science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School in Roaring Fork School District, where she has taught sixth grade for nine years. She also earned a Master of Arts in Education Leadership from University of Colorado in Colorado Springs in 2015 and is an adjunct professor in the Education Department at Colorado Mountain College.

“It is such an honor to receive this award, especially as teaching in the last two years has been some of the most difficult of my career,” says Rivera.

During her more 16 years as an educator, she has worked with students from elementary to postgraduate levels. Rivera is a member of the Colorado Science Conference Planning Committee and the Steering Committee with the Colorado Science Education Network. She is the Region 3 Elementary Board representative for the Colorado Association of Science Teachers and volunteers with the American Association of Chemistry Teachers.

In addition to her work in the field of science, Rivera serves on the Roaring Fork School District Interest Based Bargaining Committee and is her building’s advisor for the district’s Mentor and Advisor Program. She is the design facilitator for schoolwide events as well as a school track coach.

“I know I would not be where I am today without the foundation I built at CC,” she says. “The Block Plan taught me to really push myself to perform at a high level in a short amount of time. The lessons I learned in the MAT program taught me to always think outside the box and find ways to challenge my students to make changes in their world right now.”

Rivera also served as a mentor teacher in CC’s Whiz Bang science program, a former summer program. “The experiences I had as a mentor teacher in the Whiz Bang program allowed me to develop into the leader I am today,” she says.

As Teacher of the Year, Rivera will represent the entire profession in Colorado and will be entered as Colorado’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year Program competition. Rivera, along with the country’s other teachers of the year, will be honored at a ceremony at the White House and get the opportunity to go to NASA’s Space Camp. She also will become a member of the Colorado Education Commissioner’s Teacher Cabinet.

“In a time where it is more important than ever for students to feel supported in and out of the classroom, Ms. Rivera goes above and beyond to build trusting relationships with her students and their families,” says Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “We have heard firsthand from her school community how inspired they are by her passion for science, her dedication to the teaching profession and her commitment to equity.”

Report an issue - Last updated: 02/07/2022