Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High School Principal Kevin Taulman said Shelby DeWolfe is proof today's high school counselor does much more than ask students which college they want to attend and help pick out classes.
“They've taken more responsibility to help students grow socially and emotionally, not just academically,” Taulman said as he introduced DeWolfe as the Steamboat Springs School District's Educator of the Year.
DeWolfe has served as the at-risk counselor at the high school for six years.
She helps and works with students who face a variety of challenges from grief and loss to addiction and learning disabilities, including attention deficit disorder.
“I think I learn from the kids every single day,” she said Monday in her office. “I'm always amazed to see the resiliency in the kids I'm working with.”
Before she came to Steamboat, DeWolfe worked for 10 years as a counselor at Turning Point, a teen counseling center in Fort Collins.
“She never allows students to take the easy way out or not own up to their responsibility in any situation, and students love her for it,” college and career counselor Danica Moss wrote in the letter nominating DeWolfe for the honor. “She draws hard lines for students, keeps them accountable, and in return, they appreciate and love her.”
On Monday night, the Steamboat Springs School Board honored DeWolfe and the district's three other Educators of the Year.
The board has been giving the award since 1985, and the top educators will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Lazof Family Foundation to use for continuing education.
The other honorees this year include:
Colleen Ryan, resource teacher at Steamboat Springs Middle School: Principal Jerry Buelter said Ryan makes sure students don't fall through the cracks.
“She's one of the hardest working teachers we have, Buelter said.
Allyson Kopatz, third grade teacher at Strawberry Park Elementary School: Principal Tracy Stoddard said Kopatz serves as a mentor to others in the building and has “quickly become one of the best teachers” at the elementary school.
Kim Waldschmidt, first grade teacher at Soda Creek Elementary School: Principal Michele Miller said Waldschmidt has taught at Soda Creek for 12 years, and she “makes a huge difference in children's lives for a lot of reasons.”
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com