The Cherry Creek School District’s S.T.A.R. Mentor program, which provides support for new teachers, was presented to the Colorado Board of Education during a study session on Sept. 11. The State Board is studying exemplary induction programs across the state. The program was also recognized by the Cherry Creek Schools Board of Education at its regular meeting on Sept. 9.
The S.T.A.R. Mentor program is a partnership between the Cherry Creek Education Association and Cherry Creek Schools. Founded in 1994, S.T.A.R. stands for Staff Training Assistance and Renewal. S.T.A.R. Mentors are master teachers with years of classroom experience and proven success with students. They accept a three-year assignment to work with Cherry Creek teachers who are new to the profession or the district, and help them develop effective instructional techniques and classroom management skills.
“I couldn’t have gotten through my first year without her,” said middle school teacher Lauren West of the S.T.A. R. Mentor she worked with when she began her teaching career nine years ago. West is now a S.T.A.R. Mentor herself and will help between 13 and 20 new teachers navigate their first year in the classroom.
“Working with brand new teachers is one of the best jobs,” said West. “And it’s especially important this year, with everything being thrown at them,” she added, referring to the new Colorado Academic Standards and Educator Effectiveness system which are being implemented statewide this year.
The district has seven S.T.A.R. Mentors for the 13-14 school year. They are: Keith Garvert, Elizabeth Maloney and Mark Reidel, who work with elementary level teachers; Jason Gilman, Shelley Stancer and Lauren West, who work with middle and high school teachers; and Billie Griffin, who works with Special Education teachers.
Posted September 12, 2013.