Making the Grade
After 33 years in education, Breckenridge Elementary School principal Rebecca Wilson will retire to take on her “list of things to do that I haven’t had time for with a work schedule that’s pretty locked in.”Wilson has been at Breckenridge Elementary’s helm for four years. She has also served as Summit School District’s director of curriculum and as an English teacher at Summit High School. Before coming to Colorado, Wilson taught English and journalism for 22 years in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.Inspiration: I had a high school English teacher, Venita Scharm. She was interesting and fun and made literature come alive. I wanted to be just like her, and that’s the main reason I became a teacher. And in college, I had some really great professors. Dr. Battle, the chair of the English department, would get so expressive reading poetry, you would just sit there mesmerized in his class.
Motivation: When I first came to SHS, I was teaching all English classes, and there was no one teacher for the yearbook, so I took it over in my planning period. The yearbook was in debt, so the (student) editor and I brainstormed ways we could save money.At the end of that year we got out of debt, and we produced what we thought was the best yearbook they’d ever had at SHS. The editor was so proud of what she was able to do.It’s great any time you can help students and know you’ve made a difference.Philosophy: I want students to be able to think through issues and controversies, make good choices and communicate those decisions.
Challenges: Finding the time to do everything you want to do. As soon as the day is over, you say, “I wish I had time to do all these other things.”Role models: I really admire our superintendent, Millie Hamner. And I admire people such as (former Summit High teachers) Jon Kreamelmeyer and Bob Bowers who came back as board of education members to make an impact on the schools. They’re forever finding ways to give back to their community.
If I had $100,000: I would use it for professional development for teachers – buy them some time to be even better teachers.Extracurricular: My husband Phil and I have a 40-foot motor home. I love to meet people in RV parks – you find people from all walks of life. We’ve been to the Oregon coast, Las Vegas, Salida and Buena Vista. It’s a fun way to travel.My students would be surprised to know: I jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet. I’m not the kind of person who takes too many risks like that.
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