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Centennial Science Teacher Cheryl FarrerCheryl Farrer, who teaches Advanced Placement Chemistry, Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Earth Science at Centennial High School, has been named Teacher of the Year by the Mel Harmon Chapter #128 of the Air Force Association.

As the Air Force Association promotes STEM education as a key to a stronger and more secure country, local chapters annually honor a teacher who exemplifies the best in Science-based instruction.

"STEM teachers shape the future of our nation, introducing students to exciting new concepts and offering a glimpse into what's possible,” said a spokesperson for the Mel Harmon Chapter. “The very best educators transform learning into a boundless adventure and prepare their classes to explore new frontiers of technology for the good of us all. 

“Along with grants and scholarships, the Air Force Association believes that recognizing those who educate America's youth is an important aspect of what AFA is all about. Every year, AFA's Teacher of the Year program, sponsored by Rolls-Royce, proudly honors the commitment and achievements of these extraordinary teachers." 

Teacher of the Year Farrer, who has been with the District for nearly a decade, was nominated for the honor by Centennial Principal Dave Craddock.

“Ms. Farrer has been an integral Science and STEM leader within our school, District and city for many years,” Principal Craddock wrote. “While her professional biography and resume are robust, I am pleased to share some examples of how Ms. Farrer has positively championed STEM education in Pueblo.

“She has either led or participated in several curricular and extra-curricular events throughout the years that involve STEM, including a trip to Chico Ranch to study the physics of migration and buffalo extinction. She has led students in designing and building a new method to produce clean energy and participates yearly in the Science Olympiad, which consists of 26 events.

“Documenting everything Ms. Farrer has done in the STEM field throughout the years would take more words than are permitted here, but I wanted to share a glimpse of the amazing work she has done with our students and community.”

Principal Craddock praises Ms. Farrer as a “dedicated professional who has made it a life mission to expose children of all ages and backgrounds to the joy of Science and STEM fields.”

In a letter to the Mel Harmon Chapter, Ms. Farrer wrote, “All students should be provided the opportunity to experience the journey of a scientist, which could allow more doors to open in their future. Until students experience the passion, opportunities are unknown. It is also imperative for women and minorities to visualize themselves as a future STEM leader.”

Ms. Farrer informed chapter members that many of her students have gone on to pursue Science-based studies at the post-secondary level.

“The best rewards are those emails, Facebook messages and cards that arrive years later, saying ‘thank you’ for the Science exposure and education,” Ms. Farrer wrote. “Currently, there are 2 students at Colorado School of Mines, one at Vanderbilt, one at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and many at Colorado State University Pueblo, and many other universities.

“Others have continued on to the medical field, on their way to be technologists, or nurses and doctors. This year’s Advanced Placement Chemistry group has seen acceptances to Yale, Stanford, Penn State, Colorado School of Mines and CSU Pueblo. 

“Exposure and practice is the key for the candle within to ignite.”

As the chapter’s nomination for AFA Colorado State Teacher of the Year, Ms. Farrer will now advance to the next level of competition.