Other Colorado Mountain College’s Alpine Campus faculty memhonored:
■ Guadalupe “Lupita” Benitez Hathaway was named adjunct faculty member of the year for the campus. She has taught Spanish at the Alpine Campus since 1994.
■ Kathy Kiser-Miller was named the college’s full-time faculty member of the year for online learning at Colorado Mountain College. She has taught humanities and speech at the Alpine Campus since 1995.
Steamboat Springs Jen le Roux always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but she stumbled into adult education.
About 15 years ago, le Roux was a river guide volunteering with English as a second language students in the Learning Lab at Colorado Mountain College’s Summit Campus in Breckenridge.
The experience changed her life. It led le Roux to pursue a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in ESL.
“I was working with adults who were so highly motivated to learn, and feeling like teaching them English would really make a difference with how much they could participate in the community and in life,” she said Thursday.
Le Roux has made a difference.
An associate professor teaching ESL and developmental English classes at CMC’s Alpine Campus, she was named the college’s faculty member of the year. Le Roux was chosen from among faculty members of the year from each CMC campus.
She was honored, with faculty members from community colleges statewide, at a luncheon Wednesday in Denver hosted by the Colorado Community College System.
Alpine Campus Resort Management Professor Terry Hunter wrote in a letter nominating le Roux that she was a “shining example” of the qualities faculty should be judged by, including service to her discipline, service to the college and service to the community.
“Jenny displays an unequaled passion and commitment to the ESL program and developmental English students at CMC,” Hunter wrote. “Although she avoids the spotlight and any inclination toward self-promotion, one only needs to witness her out in the community of Steamboat Springs to realize the almost ‘rock star’ status she holds in the ESL community.”
Le Roux, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, who has 25 years of teaching experience, moved to Steamboat in 2000 after husband, Mel Stewart, got a job as assistant fire chief with Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue. Le Roux said she was lucky to find a full-time job as a faculty member at the Alpine Campus.
In addition to her work with ESL students, she also teaches developmental English.
Dan Parker, a freshman from Atlantic City, N.J., only has had le Roux’s English Composition 090 class for a few weeks but said she’s a good teacher. He said that the class is conversational and that different exercises keep the whole class involved.
Student Jami Demorest also has had le Roux for a few weeks and said she’s an effective teacher.
“I think she’s already shown multiple ways of teaching,” he said. “Those really apply to different learning styles. If you do things the same way, you don’t get as good of results. If you mix things up, you tend to get something that clicks.”
Le Roux has left her mark on the Alpine Campus’ ESL program, colleagues said.
In a nomination letter, Diane Wallace, who teaches ESL as an adjunct professor at the Alpine Campus, said le Roux created the Family Literacy program, which allows parents and their children to receive language instruction. The program is for people not typically served during the ESL classes that meet at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Family Literacy is at 9 a.m. Wednesdays at Bud Werner Memorial Library.
Wallace also wrote that le Roux created a language class for West Africans and is involved in CMC and community activities and groups geared toward Steamboat’s international population.
Le Roux said she was stunned to learn that she was chosen as CMC’s faculty member of the year. She said there are many talented faculty members at the CMC campus and collegewide.
“It’s a great honor,” she said. “I’m hugely grateful because I do feel I work with an extraordinary group. I feel like being nominated validated the work that I’ve done, and that’s a great feeling.”
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com