The Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities has awarded the distinguished 2013 Professional of the Year Award to Mark Semmler. Each year, the award is given for outstanding performance and commitment by a professional who works in the field of learning disabilities in a role outside of the classroom. Mark Semmler went on to compete for and was awarded the Floyd G. Hudson Outstanding Service Award. As the recipient of the Floyd G. Hudson Award, Mark will be recognized in October at the Council for Learning Disabilities International Conference in Austin, Texas.
2015 Nomination Forms
2014 CCLD Teacher of the Year Award
Annemarie DempseyThe Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is proud to recognize Annemarie Dempsey as the recipient of the 2014 Teacher of the Year Award. Annemarie is a Learning Specialist at Campus Middle School in the Cherry Creek School District in Englewood, Colorado.
She provides leadership on a building and district level, serving as a co-facilitator of the district-wide SLD Literacy Study Team and providing building-level coaching and professional development on effective co-teaching strategies.
Annemarie is committed to the craft of teaching. Through most of her teaching career, Annemarie focused on literacy instruction and is highly qualified in reading. She is currently working towards highly-qualified in math and is the recipient of an award for outstanding research for her project on math intervention.
Annemarie is not done learning and perfecting her teaching craft. She is a leader in our district and a model teacher for those around her. It is her attention to detail and her dedication to students and to teaching that makes Annemarie simply one of the best teachers I’ve had the pleasure to work with.
Mark Semmler, District Special Education Coordinator
One of the greatest assets in the academic realm is a teacher who fosters excellence and inspires success. Annemarie is one of these extraordinary teachers. She gives of herself to the students at Campus Middle School in a way that is heroic. Dedication, enthusiasm, passion, selflessness, and innovation hardly scratch the surface in describing her character. Annemarie cares for her students both academically and as young adults in a way that is inspiring and motivating. She changes lives and does it with grace and humility second to none.
Kristina Kontny, 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher
While most of us take our lunch breaks with colleagues, Annemarie spends hers with a few students who need a calmer environment than the cafeteria. Throughout this hectic, selfless day, she is always smiling and happy to be with her students.
Kerry Sheedy, Mathematics Teacher
The 2013 Colorado Professional of the Year Award and
Floyd G. Hudson Outstanding Service Awards Recipient Mark Semmler
Mark was awarded the CCLD Colorado Professional of the Year Award. The CCLD board submitted his nomination to the Council for Learning Disabilities and he was then awarded the distinguished 2013 Floyd G. Hudson Outstanding Service Award. Each year, the award is given for outstanding performance and commitment by a professional who works in the field of learning disabilities in a role outside of the classroom. As the recipient of this national award, Mark will be recognized in October at the Council for Learning Disabilities International Conference in Austin, Texas.
Mark SemmlerMark serves as a special education coordinator for the Cherry Creek School District in Denver, Colorado. Mark partners with district math leaders to provide professional development in diagnostic assessment and research-based instructional practices for teachers who work with students who struggle with mathematics.
In addition to the impact Mark has within his district, he also works part time for the Colorado Department of Education, teaching online classes in math interventions and providing regional trainings in assessment and implementation of interventions within the framework of the Colorado Academic Standards.
Mark is an active member of the Colorado Metro Math Intervention Team (CoMMIT) whose purpose is to ensure that educators working with struggling learners, including those with disabilities, have the content knowledge and understanding to provide appropriate interventions. He also serves on the steering committee for the planning and carrying out of an effective statewide professional-development project (Math on the “Planes”), sponsored by the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities in conjunction with CoMMIT, the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Colorado Department of Education
Mark states that the goal of the services we provide is postsecondary success for our students. As the coordinator of the district’s Assistive Technology Team, he was instrumental in constructing assistive technology labs in each of the district’s 19 secondary schools. The technologies in these labs were selected with the input of area colleges and designed to replicate the experience a student has while attending college.
Claire Sabochik, a fellow special education coordinator, states, “Mark is revolutionizing mathematics instruction for students who struggle. Much like the contributions of Floyd G. Hudson, Mark’s work will have a lasting influence on special education professionals and on the lives of people with disabilities. Mark truly exemplifies the best of Special Education professionals in practice today!”
2013 CCLD Teacher of the Year Award
Icaro MardonesThe Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is honored to recognize Icaro Mardones as the 2013 Teacher of the Year. Icaro is a special education teacher at Lincoln High School in Denver Public Schools.
Icaro Mardones constantly affirms and encourages his high school students. Throughout his social studies and science courses, he integrates technology, hands-on learning, and real world applications in his pervasive efforts to infuse his lessons with purpose and relevance. Teaching students of many different skill levels and behavioral issues, Mr. Mardones also reflects deeply regarding his efficacy as a teacher and modifies his instruction accordingly, as he seeks to help all of his students learn. As noted by his special education department chair in Denver Public Schools, Mr. Mardones’ “passion for the field does much to raise the level of the teaching environment.”
Mr. Mardones also strives to help all students learn; he advocates for them and establishes a safe and welcoming classroom atmosphere where all students are valued. One parent wrote about how painfully shy her daughter is and how Mr. Mardones’ patience and humor had resulted in her daughter actively participating in class. This parent also stated, “As a parent we want our kids to learn and be successful in life. Mr. Mardones cares for our kids and teaches them in a way that the kids with disabilities understand.”
For his passionate dedication to instruction and student learning, his advocacy for his students, his crafting of a safe and encouraging classroom environment for all students, and his deep and deliberate self-reflection regarding his instructional practices, the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities is proud to announce Mr. Icaro Mardones, “Teacher of the Year.”