Celebrating our Great Teachers

Celebrating our Great Teachers

February marks the 100 year anniversary of Career and Technical Education (which we proudly call: CareerConnect). This revolutionary program has impacted students and teachers alike for generations.

This year, to celebrate, we asked teachers to share what prompted them to become CareerConnect (CTE) teachers.

Read their stories:

Stacey HerveyStacey Hervey, M.C.J. |Teacher Leader and Criminal Justice/Forensics Instructor | CEC Early College

I worked as a victim advocate before become a police officer and had many contacts with young people. It always bothered me that I was unable to follow up with them after they became a part of the system, that I couldn’t do more to prevent this from happening. 

Eventually, I decided to get a graduate degree in Criminal Justice. But as I was sitting in class, the Columbine tragedy occurred. I served as a victim advocate at the scene and it was then I decided to do more to help urban youth.  

I started my career at Mitchell Elementary as a paraprofessional before moving to Kepner. I was going back to school to get my Social Studies/English certification when the Criminal Justice job opened up at CEC. It was a dream come true. 

I love exposing students to different career pathways and getting them excited about furthering their education. I believe students are more likely to graduate college if are passionate about a career before starting their journey. CareerConnect (Career and Technical Education) also helps prepare students for success in the workplace.

Jaime CaldwellJaime Caldwell, MS, ATC | Sports Medicine Instructor and SWAGGER Chair | Vista Academy

I never thought I would work in a high school. I am an Athletic Trainer who has worked all levels of competitions and teams. My dream was to work in Women’s Professional Soccer, but once I had a taste of high-level athletics, I realized it was not for me. 

Before becoming a teacher, I worked at the high school level and realized how much teaching I was doing in the training room, and that I had fallen in love with the students. I found I was making a difference in their lives while being passionate about my work. This is where I first became aware of CareerConnect (Career and Technical Education). 

After working in a high school for 4 years, an opportunity came up to apply for a CTE Sports Medicine position at Vista Academy and I have been here ever since (6 years). I love what I do day in and day out. And although I miss the field and training, I know the impact I am making while showing my excitement for this field is tremendous. 

I am currently working towards my Doctorate in Education with a Principal’s License so I may continue to work with CareerConnect (CTE). I am a firm believer in career-education and I can’t wait to continue the work at another level.

Michael BolzeniusMichael Bolzenius, Computer Science and Entrepreneurship Educator | Northfield High School

I have wanted to educate, to teach, my entire life and I decided to follow through on that dream. I learned about the need for CTE Educators in Colorado, specifically Denver area.

I have also been interested and knowledgeable about technology and computers since the day I was born. From programming my parent’s VCR to setting up large office space IT systems including networking, cloud computing, and more… I’ve really done it all.

I’ve done programming, web design, photoshop, music production, recording, programming, design, and much more. I also own a Computer IT company contracting for individuals and small businesses which I have officially incorporated. 

When I came to Colorado, I still had a desire to teach, so while I was in the process of getting credentialed, I substitute taught and kept up my business at the same time. 

I think my students are impacted positively when they understand that having command over many career fields can help your realize your ambitions. I believe that being knowledgeable in several content areas is not only beneficial but imperative for the future and that computers and information technology are the key to solving the world’s challenges.

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