Two Weld RE-4 School District were among the 12 new appointees to Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes’ teacher cabinet, she announced Monday in a news release.

Melissa Thorne, a pre-kindergarten special education teacher at Tozer Primary School in Windsor, and Aicha Ross, a foreign language at Severance High School in Severance, are the Weld RE-4 representatives to the 22-person advisory group.

Jennifer McLoud, an English language arts teacher at Highland Middle School in Ault (Weld RE-9) is a continuing member of the cabinet.

The cabinet is an opportunity for Colorado teachers to share their hands-on classroom knowledge, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Education. Cabinet members come from districts around the state, representing systems of various sizes and different ethnicities, grade levels and from urban, rural and suburban communities.

Anthes formed the cabinet in 2017 to provide CDE with direct feedback and advice from educators on Colorado education policy.

State education commissioner, back second from left, announced 12 new members of her teacher cabinet on Feb. 27. The new cabinet members include Melissa Thorne and Aicha Ross from Weld RE-4 School District in Windsor and Severance. Jennifer McLoud, a language arts teacher at Highland Middle School in Ault, is a continuing member of the 22-person advisory group created in 2017. Anthes is pictured here with the state board of education Jan. 11, 2023 in Denver. (Courtesy/Rhonda Solis).

“I am honored to welcome our new teacher cabinet members,” Anthes said in the release. “Colorado is lucky to have such exceptional educators who step up to share their time and expertise with state leaders. Each of these teachers provides us with invaluable perspectives on the challenges facing Colorado’s educators and can help us find ways to continue to elevate the profession of teaching.”

Members serve two-year terms on a volunteer basis. The teacher cabinet will meet at least four times a year.

The role of teacher cabinet members are to: serve as a sounding board for implementation of state education policy; and to brainstorm solutions for challenges facing educators today, such as raising achievement among all students, supporting low-performing schools and increasing the number of individuals joining the teaching profession.

The other new members appointed to the cabinet, along with Thorne and Ross are:

Alfredo Beltran Aguirre, mathematics and Career and Technical Education at Colorado Early Colleges Aurora, Charter School Institute; Kaileigh Bonner, second-grade English language arts and English second language at Burlington Elementary School, Burlington School District RE-6J; Marla Caviness-French, gifted and talented at Jeffco Public Schools Education Center, Jefferson County Public Schools; Jimmy Day, the 2023 Colorado Teacher of the Year and a band director at East Middle School, Aurora Public Schools; Donald Dilliplane, English and social studies, 10th-12th grades at Montbello High School,  Denver Public Schools; Pamela Ford, English language arts at Overland High School, Cherry Creek School District; Crystalyn Garcia, English language arts at Villa Bella Expeditionary Elementary School, Pueblo District 70; Beth Hamlin, Innovative practices at Academy of Las Animas Online, Las Animas School District; Kari Michal, fourth grade at Merino Elementary School, Buffalo RE-4J School District; Lois Poulson-Fowler, third grade reading, mathematics and special education at Wildflower Elementary School, Harrison School District 2; and Brian Seppala, science, 10th-12th grades at Middle Park High School, East Grand School District.

The other continuing members of the cabinet with McLoud are:

Emily Adams, social studies and English language arts, 6th grade at Adventure Elementary, Mapleton Public Schools; Tina Barber-Matthew, social studies at Clear Creek High School, Clear Creek School District; Emma Copeland, third and fourth grades at Agate School, Agate School District No. 300; Tegan Lewis, K-2 teacher and exceptional services administrator at Battle Rock Charter School, Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1; Andrea Malouff, K-2 reading interventionist at Alamosa Elementary School, Alamosa School District; Autumn Rivera, 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year and science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School, Roaring Fork School District; Baochau Thomas, mathematics at Horizon Community Middle School, Cherry Creek School District 5; Sarah Tilton, English language arts and English second language at Trevista at Horace Mann Elementary, Denver Public Schools.


This article was originally published in Greeley Tribune