Celebrating 40 Years of Impact

We can’t get Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” out of our heads! Last week’s gala was an incredible way to commemorate our 40th Anniversary and engage the community in support of public education.

From the game show and remarks from Governor Polis to our wonderful speakers and the 5280s Band, the evening reminded us how important – and fun! – it is to celebrate success. 

Together we raised over $400,000 to continue engaging students and empowering educators across the Boulder Valley School District.

Click here to view more photos from the event.


Were you unable to attend? Watch this new video to learn a little more about how Impact on Education came to be and where we’re headed.

We’re grateful to have a strong community behind us. It’s because of you that we’re able to help BVSD students receive an excellent and equitable education. We all shine brighter together.

Thank you for being part of our work!


Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

Behind the Scenes at the 2023 Impact Awards

Yesterday we held our 30th Annual Impact Awards celebration! This event honors an educator from each school in the Boulder Valley School District, and awards both an early career educator and longtime educator with individual awards.

The energy of our dedicated educators was incredible and the evening was a great success! We were honored to have the event emceed by Dr. Lora de la Cruz, Deputy Superintendent of BVSD, with special remarks by Dr. Rob Anderson, BVSD Superintendent.

This event was generously sponsored by BVEA, Premier Members Credit Union, Google, Corden Pharma, The Daily Camera and Lionsgate Event Center.

Browse some event photos or keep reading to hear about the evening.

56 School Honorees

Since 1993, the Impact Awards has recognized hundreds of educators – teachers, custodians, office managers, food service employees, crossing guards, and more – from each school across BVSD. Each school across the district selects an honoree for the event, someone who is going above and beyond and making an extraordinary impact on student learning.

Each honoree received an engraved award, a personalized poster and a $100 check (thank you sponsors!). You can meet all of this year’s honorees in the graphics below.

Early Educator Award

The 2023 Imogene Maxon Early Educator Award was presented to Sue Crowley, a fourth grade teacher at Alicia Sanchez Elementary.

Sue elevates each of her students to be more, achieve more, believe more, and do more than they previously thought possible.

Her nominator shared that, “in her first year of teaching, Sue already embodies the gold standard as an educator. While her 4th grade has a demographic and student population of varying backgrounds, opportunities, and advantages, Sue is exemplary at weaving in both academic instruction and social and emotional development.”

2023 Imogene Maxon Early Educator Award winner Sue Crowley and Dr. James Hill, BVSD

This award is financially supported by a legacy gift from Imogene Maxon.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The 2023 Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award winner was Glen Einrem, a special education paraeducator at Monarch High School.

Glen is skilled at providing strong boundaries with students while also developing a loving and supportive relationship that they can rely on throughout high school and beyond. He demonstrates the heart of teaching every day.

As a paraprofessional of over 25 years, Glen has made a lasting and significant impact on the classroom, and a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of students. Glen has a gifted and profound way of interacting with and motivating students with emotional or behavioral differences. Education was not Glen’s first career. It was actually his third. Learn more >>

2023 Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award winner Glen Einrem.

This award is financially supported and selected by the Peterson family.

The importance of educator appreciation

When we use the word educator, we’re referring to classroom teachers, school employees, paraeducators, parent volunteers — anyone whose work engages and enriches the lives of our students. Recognizing these impactful individuals matters as it supports, validates, and encourages our educators to continue doing what they do best. It can also strengthen their commitment and the overall culture of their school. 

While we’re only able to recognize a small number of BVSD educators at the Impact Awards, we celebrate the hard work and dedication of each educator across BVSD throughout the year.


Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

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.”


Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

Working together to support BVSD schools

We hosted a Parent Partnership Summit last week and were thrilled to see so many schools in the Boulder Valley School District represented. This event brings together parent leaders from schools across the district to strengthen fundraising efforts and connect with other parent leaders to grow their impact in our schools.

Working together to support schools

PTO and PTA organizations across BVSD provide important resources to supplement the educational experience for students and help build community. Impact on Education convenes the leaders of these organizations each year to ensure they know how we can support their efforts and how we work each day to support the students and educators at their school.

After a brief update on our programs and recent happenings, we shared this new video about how we are supporting the mental health of BVSD students affected by the Marshall Fire.

An important part of supporting schools is making sure all families are included. To support parent leaders, we invited representatives from the NAACP Boulder County Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Collaborative to share resources and ideas for implementing or strengthening school DEI committees.

An update from the BVSD Superintendent

In addition to presenting information on and answering questions about the BVSD Facilities Critical Needs Plan and the All Together for All Students strategic plan, Dr. Anderson also spent over an hour with us discussing pressing current issues in the district including

We’re grateful that Dr. Anderson was able to spend so much time with BVSD’s parent leaders at the summit to share important and timely updates and answer questions.


Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

Thank you for supporting Impact on Education

We are humbled by the outpouring of support we received on Friday at our annual gala, Together We Build.

From the family style dining experience to the lively conversations to raising 56 paddles for our 56 schools, the evening was centered around community. Together we raised over $300,000 to help students build resilience, confidence and their path to success.

We had so much fun on Friday and shared all of the wonderful photos on Facebook >>

For those that were unable to join us, we invite you to watch a new video about how we are supporting students and educators in the Boulder Valley School District affected by the Marshall Fire.

We’re so grateful to have a strong community behind us making sure we can put our mission into action. Thank you for being part of our work!


Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators of the Boulder Valley School District.

Anahi Quintana receives Imogene Maxon Early Educator Award

The Imogene “Jean” Maxon Early Educator Award is awarded to a BVSD educator with up to three years of classroom experience who demonstrates the drive, stamina, and vision of a career educator.

We recognized four finalists for this year’s award at the 29th Annual Impact Awards on May 23, including:

Congratulations to Anahi Quintana

Dr. Lora de la Cruz, BVSD Deputy Superintendent, announced the 2022 Imogene Maxon Early Educator Award winner, Anahi Quintana. Her colleagues told us:

“Anahi works beyond the walls of her classroom to reach parents and community members and has an “all together now” approach to student success.”

About Imogene Maxon

Imogene Maxon was a lifelong educator who taught with the Boulder Valley School District. In 2020 we received a bequest from her estate and created the Imogene “Jean” Maxon Early Educator Award in her honor. Imogene believed strongly in the impact of teachers who spend a lifetime honing instruction and learning practices and positively impacting countless students within the classroom.

Angevine counselor Lisa Cech received Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award

Humor, compassion and advocacy fueled Cech’s career in education

By Shay Castle

When Lise Cech still remembers the career advice her high school counselor gave. It was the same thing every other girl heard during their once- or twice-yearly visit.

“They would pretty much say, you can be a nurse or teacher,” Cech recalled. “No personality tests, no, ‘What do you want to do?’” 

Thankfully, despite the bad advice, education turned out to be the right career for Cech,this year’s Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award winner. The Angevine Middle School counselor has spent more than half of her 30-plus years in education with Boulder Valley School District, after working with colleges in Illinois, California and Colorado.

Her time at BVSD has been marked by her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; leadership in creating a welcoming environment; and fierce advocacy for her students and peers. 

“Tomes could be written on the positive and immeasurable influence that she has had on kids,” wrote Angevine teacher Kylie Pyatt in one of 14 recommendation letters Cech received for the Blake Peterson award. “Lisa has supported, motivated, mentored, coached, counseled, laughed with, cried with, fed, listened to, encouraged, educated, helped, pushed, and deeply, deeply inspired me.”

Cech’s resume is as full and lengthy as the letters of support for her. The include creating Angevine’s Ally-Cat bystander intervention club and the school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance; serving as chair of the school climate committee; working as a lead equity trainer for BVSD; coordinating Safe and Drug Free Schools; and leading a year-long staff and faculty book study of Paul Gorsky’s “Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty,” in addition to training educators state- and nationwide in anti-bullying, mental health and DEI work.  

“Lisa Cech has been an educator well beyond the walls in which she has formally served,” wrote Angevine school psychologist Chrissy Lohn. 

“You would be hard-pressed to find a student who doesn’t have a story of how Lisa helped them or their family,” wrote Centaurus High School teacher Beth Bogner. “She is a legend!”

“Even though she is not my son’s school counselor, she could see he needed help,” recalled BVSD parent Christy-Schneider Little. “She provided him a safe place, techniques to help him work through some issues and continued to follow up with my son over the next few weeks to make sure he was okay. What even more impressed me was how she reached out to me, the worried parent. She let me know how he was doing and provided some thoughtful insights on how we can further support my son.”

Cech “provides a home away from home” for students, said Anna Gamble, Cech’s co-counselor at Angevine and one of five people who nominated Cech for the Blake Peterson award.

Beyond her extraordinary efforts for students, Cech is just as supportive of her peers, they said. 

“She really helped me become who I am in the field,” Gamble said. “She was able to help with my self-esteem and self-confidence, and lift me up.”

Cech’s first experience with education was coaching girls basketball as a teenager. She loves working with people, and has a special heart for middle school-aged kids and the struggles they face. She herself was bullied as a gay youth, an experience she drew on as she moved into DEI work. 

Cech notes that it was “a journey,” one she never fails to be honest about when instructing kids or adults on racism. 

“Talking about my own journey and the mistakes I made (let’s people know), ‘Oh, it’s a process,’” Cech said. “If you can disarm and let people see you, I think it breaks down some of those walls people might have. It cuts through that tension and fear.”

Her dedication to equity is driven by a deep empathy for those experiencing oppression.

“Injustice, it gets to my core,” Cech said. “My whole career in Boulder, seeing the inequities (made me question): Can you be part of a system and change it? That’s what I hoped to do and tried to do.”

“I was always saying, I’m still saying, ‘What are they going to do, fire me?’ I’m going to call stuff out in the hopes that things change.”

Gamble noted that it was Cech’s advocacy in large part that resulted in more mental health resources for Angevine, BVSD’s biggest and most diverse middle school.

“She’s not always the most popular voice in the room, but she is heard, and she is listened to,” Gamble said. “She’s got some fire.”

“Lisa is representation and love in action,” wrote Elizabeth Barcheck, assistant principal at Southern Hills Middle School.  “She seems eternally unfearful to shine light on the needs and complexities that middle schoolers face. Lisa is always willing to do what is right over what is easy.”

A little humor helps, too. Gamble noted Cech’s “flawless” presentation skills, whether to educators, parents or students. 

“She always has people laughing,” Gamble said.

Cech’s resume also includes stand-up comedy. 

“When I turned 30, my wife got me a standup comedy class as a present,” she explained. “As your final exam, you go on stage and do your 5-minute bit. I did really well, and it got into me. I did it for a couple years. I made money at it, but I’m usually in bed by 9, so lifestyle-wise, it didn’t quite fit.”

These days, her comedy is limited to the classroom — “If I can make my students laugh or laugh with them, we have a shared experience,” Cech said. “It creates connection.” — but she wouldn’t rule out a post-retirement career as a daytime comedian.

“I’ve got 40 years of material,” she joked. “Keep an eye out for me on the circuit.”

More likely is continued coaching and playing of pickleball, “my current passion.”

Cech has one year left in her decade-spanning career. She’ll spend part of it back on the district’s equity cohort, which she helped create, training teachers and administrators in equity and cultural proficiency.

In a high-burnout and turnover industry, Cech attributes her staying power to regular meditation and self-care, and her wife of 33 years, B.K..

“A good, solid relationship has really gotten me through most of it,” Cech said. “Having somebody as a steady, loving presence who really helped me through things.”

Cech was surprised to be recognized with the Blake Peterson Award. She’s enjoyed hearing from teachers who she had trained over the years, and students she worked with. 

“It feels good to get acknowledgement, which in education we don’t always get a lot of,” she said. “It feels like a good note to almost-end on.”

Meet our 2022 Impact Award Honorees

Every year, each school in BVSD chooses an impactful person in their school community who demonstrates exceptional collaboration, innovation, and dedication to our students.

These impactful individuals show an ongoing commitment to professional and personal growth and have powerful, often life-changing, effects on students and the rest of the education community through unfaltering and purposeful effort.

We hope you enjoy reading about our school honorees! Click each photo to learn more about why they were selected for an Impact Award.

Earlier this week, we gathered parent leaders of BVSD’s PTOs and PTAs for a Parent Partnership Summit. Nearly half of our 56 schools had a representative join the summit which was generously sponsored by Premier Members Credit Union.

We were fortunate to be joined by three BVSD leaders, including Dr. Rob Anderson, Superintendent; Dr. Lora de la Cruz, Deputy Superintendent and Dr. Sam Messier, Assistant Superintendent for Strategic Partnerships and Academic Supports.

All together for all students

Dr. Anderson shared some district updates with the group before sharing the three pillars of the BVSD strategic plan:

As the newest member of the BVSD leadership team, Dr. de la Cruz introduced herself and shared her perspectives about the successes of the district and challenges that lie ahead. 

Our attendees asked relevant and informed questions about bringing volunteers back into schools, staffing and substitute constraints, funding for paraeducators in elementary schools, and declining enrollment across the district.

Building strategic partnerships

Next up was Dr. Messier, discussing her new role building systems to better support partnerships that are aligned to BVSD’s strategic goals. Attendees spent time in small groups discussing how their school group connects to the pillars of the strategic plan. From all of the conversations, three key themes emerged regarding ways parent groups can support BVSD’s progress towards its goals:

  1. Supplementing school staff
  2. Intentionally engaging families
  3. Supporting educators

Working together

These school groups are each working hard to support their school, educators, and students. From providing funding for paraeducators to creating opportunities for all families to have a voice to hosting community events, we are grateful for their dedication to Boulder Valley School District. 

Attendees left the session with a deeper understanding of the School District’s strategic direction, the role of Impact on Education and the ways that other parent groups are supporting their schools. We hope they also left energized and encouraged and with some new connections.

Our local K-12 students returned to classrooms last week, and preschoolers start on Monday, August 30. Everyone can feel the excitement, the anticipation, and the pure joy of being back at school.

On Friday, August 20th, hundreds of Boulder Valley community members came together (in person and virtually) to help Impact on Education ensure that all of these students have a great school year. We’re incredibly grateful for the sponsors and donors who joined and supported us.

Together, we raised nearly $250,000 to strengthen Boulder Valley’s public schools.

Impact on Education has big plans ahead, including a major investment to provide supplemental instruction for students to make up for unfinished learning from prior years and initiatives to ensure more students are prepared for college and careers.

At the gala we were touched to hear stories about students whose lives were positively and directly impacted by our work. And our keynote speaker, Erik Weihenmayer, took our theme, Together We Climb, to new heights. As a former educator and world-renowned athlete and adventurer, he spoke about the importance of teams in classrooms and in life, and he inspired us all with his incredible story. Every student will encounter barriers throughout their life much like the challenges Erik faces living and adventuring without sight. Erik reinforced the importance of our work as alchemists to eliminate the barriers standing in the way of student success.

We take this message to heart and are starting the school year off committed to helping all students find their paths to success. We wish every student and educator a wonderful school year!

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Impact on Education
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