Monarch paraeducator Glen Einrem received 2023 Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award
Time in the restaurant industry taught Glen patience, communication crucial to his job
By Shay Castle
Education was not Glen Einrem’s first career. It was actually his third.
Prior to joining Boulder Valley School District, Einrem worked as a structural engineer. Before that, he spent 18 years in the restaurant industry, doing everything from washing dishes to managing a regional team.
That time working in restaurants is the most valuable when it comes to his work as one of Monarch High School’s special education paraprofessionals, Einrem said.
“A lot of that translates into what we do at school: face to face interactions dealing with upset people, learning how to talk to them, learning to let things roll off your shoulder,” he said. “You see everything and you’re dealing with everything.”
Dealing with dozens of frustrated customers, Einrem learned that, “they’re not attacking you for being you; they were being angry at the situation. Once you realize that, it kind of frees you to just be there, not take it personally, not have too many ups and downs and be a steady ship going through.”
That grace under pressure has earned Einrem a reputation as a calm, caring presence in the classroom.
He “makes a difference by being kind,” student Isaac C. wrote in support of Einrem’s nomination for this year’s Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award.
“He stops us from being disruptive without seeming mean,” wrote Zoe D.
His students also love the way he connects with them on their level. As Viktor G. put it: “Glen is amazing because he just talks ‘Student.’”
“He breaks down things in a way that I can understand” them, wrote Cole B.
“Glen carried me through this class,” added Libby B.
Einrem credits his “wide variety of interests” with being able to talk to students “on their level.”
“I do a lot of gaming with my son; I can talk games to them,” he said. “If they want to talk history and engineering and science, I’m a big buff on all of those. I think my speciality is actually conversation and talking and making kids feel comfortable with themselves.”
That vast knowledge base has also earned him a reputation among his peers.
“We jokingly refer to Glen at work as ‘Glengle’ — our version of Google,” wrote colleague Ally Hall, in her nomination letter.
For Einrem, his favorite part about the job goes beyond connection and communication and knowledge sharing. It’s helping a child understand that there is a wider world out there.
“So much of high school is in the moment. And everything is OMG,” he said. “But if you can get to them and say, ‘Look, people have gone through this hundreds of times, and you can get through it, and things do get better.”
“That’s the most rewarding thing for me: seeing they can go on and do things and be successful.”
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