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.

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.

For the past 28 years, we’ve honored individuals in the Boulder Valley School District at our annual Impact Awards. This celebration recognizes one person from each of Boulder Valley’s 56 schools making an extraordinary impact on student learning because of their exceptional collaboration, innovation, and dedication to students. We also award one educator with the Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award and another with the Imogene Maxon Early Teacher Award.

This year, we’re seeing so many people stepping up for our students, we decided to recognize  the entire BVSD community through the Impact Awards: Community Edition.

Why we’re celebrating you

Every single person involved in education—teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and students—has gone above and beyond this school year, demonstrating their commitment to education and our students. So this year, in the most extraordinary school year we’ve faced thus far, we’re recognizing the entire BVSD community with an Impact Award.

How we’re saying thank you

We didn’t let an historic snowstorm get in the way of saying thank you. We hope you were able to see our messaging throughout the community this week. Here’s what you might have missed:

We’re thankful for our presenting sponsor, Premier Members Credit Union, in addition to Google, Comcast and the Boulder Valley Education Association for allowing us to recognize our incredible BVSD community through this gratitude campaign.

Special discounts through the end of the school year

We’re thrilled to partner with 25 businesses offering special discounts for the BVSD community through the end of the school year. It’s been a tough year for our small business community as well, and we’re grateful so many were able to join us in saying thank you.

From coffee shops to bookstores to local restaurants, we hope something on the list brings your family some extra joy.

Looking ahead

It’s too early to say what next year’s Impact Awards will look like, though we sure hope to celebrate with you in person. Regardless of how many educators we’re able to recognize each year, please know: we appreciate you!

Amidst the many challenges facing our community right now, we are excited to share good news about a virtual celebration we held on May 7 during Teacher Appreciation Week. We had the joy of honoring seven BVSD early career teachers and recognizing one first-year teacher as our inaugural Imogene Maxon Early Career Teacher award (IMA) winner! We originally intended to recognize and award these educators in person during our annual Impact Awards event in March, but we rescheduled the event for September, when we will honor them all in person with our Impact Award winners.

Earlier this year, we received a bequest from the family of Imogene Maxon, a lifelong educator who taught in BVSD, in the form of 5% of her estate. 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.

Our seven nominees were chosen for their commitment to the teaching profession, and for embodying a passion and stamina that reflects one of a veteran educator. The nominees represent Boulder High, Emerald Elementary, University Hill Elementary, Eldorado K-8, Transitions Center, Manhattan Middle, and Nederland Middle/Senior.

Congratulations to Emily Trujillo

Our first-ever IMA winner, Emily Trujillo, is a kindergarten teacher at Emerald Elementary and a BVSD graduate. Announced by BVSD Board of Education President Tina Marquis, Emily stood out with her wise-beyond-her-years demeanor, natural leadership, and dedication to individual students. She is dedicated to showing students how they can be represented in their teachers.

The virtual celebration included all of the award nominees, their principals, BVSD Board of Education members, and BVSD administrative leaders, and was broadcast on BV22 simultaneously. We encourage the community to watch the video and celebrate our BVSD educators! 

Thanks to the Maxon bequest, each nominee and the winner was given a monetary award.

Impact on Education is proud to announce Sue Taddeucci as the recipient of the 2020 Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award. Sue is a Special Education Multi-Intensive Learning Center Teacher at Southern Hills Middle School.

Sue exemplifies what Blake Peterson valued most in educators, an extraordinary heart for the students she works with. This commitment is best exemplified by how she individualizes her approach to working with each student’s needs and strengths to optimize their potential. Her endless enthusiasm in working with families, pioneering new teaching approaches, facilitating the groundbreaking peer tutoring program, and mentoring an incredible number of educators in special education, has changed the lives of countless individuals in our district and throughout the state.

Sue has served the BVSD community since 2007 when she joined the Creekside Elementary preschool program. She’s been catalyzing and innovating within the Special Education department at Southern Hills Middle since 2010, and building a norm of inclusivity in the process. Her tireless dedication to partnering with all of the positive influences and roles in a student’s life – parents, caregivers, families, student classmates, paraeducators, colleagues, district administrators – with only the goal of that student’s growth as the focus had led to progression and learning that is truly transformative. 

Equally important, her sphere of positive impact extends beyond her classroom walls and BVSD. Sue drives a Peer Tutoring Program that caught the eyes of the Colorado Department of Education, and her energetic, inclusive teaching style is a positive model for special education teachers and programs across the state. 

Thank you, Sue, for bringing out the best in your students and in all those around you!

Click here to read an article about the 2020 Blake Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Sue Taddeucci, in the Daily Camera.

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