BASALT, Colo.-- A Basalt teacher is receiving the state’s highest educational honors. Colorado State Teacher of the Year, Leticia Ingram-Guzman is the focus of this week’s Education Matters.
Leticia Ingram-Guzman has taken students who previously couldn’t speak a word of English to acing their high school classes in just two years.
"You are awesome. You can do it. You are strong and you can achieve your goals if you try," said Edwin Sanchez, a Basalt High School Junior.
In recent years, Basalt High School has seen a sharp increase in its Latino student body. English language learners are now the majority.
Head Girl Megan Sherry said the teacher who leads them in learning English sets an example of openness.
"Her house is always open and her classroom's is always open for us to come whenever we need," she said.
School administrators have a similar opinion of Leticia Ingram-Guzman.
"We have students who just moved to the United States, last week. She is expert at bringing some of the newer students in to our community and helping them feel like they're a part of it" said Basalt High School Assistant Principal, Jamie Hozack.
The impact she has had in her community and in her classroom, earned Ingram-Guzman the Colorado State Teacher of the Year Award.
But she says the honor goes to her students.
"I have to give all the credit to them. They're my inspiration" said Leticia Ingram-Guzman, Colorado State Teacher of the Year.
She spear-heads the school's English Language Department. She also raises funds to take her students on field trips.
"All I did was tell their stories. And it started getting attention everywhere," she said. "It started in our community, and then went far in to our district. Then it went to our state."
Ingram-Guzman has bridged gaps between cultures and languages, between local and international.
Students are forming friendships, which is nice, said Megan Sherry.