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Gilpin School welcomes new teachers

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They are the framework of our society

By Esmee Halsted

In recent years, Gilpin School has hired a plethora of new teachers. The new recruits this year began their jobs with a hopeful outlook and plenty of enthusiasm. Gilpin students have high expectations. So far, they have done a great job delivering. It’s time that these heroes got a proper introduction.

To begin, allow me to introduce, Marissa Benke. She is from Littleton, Colorado, just an hour drive from Gilpin County, she describes her childhood neighborhood as a “quintessential suburb” with “similar fences and all.” She attended college at Northern Colorado University. Her love of learning, something she wanted to share with her students, is why she became a teacher. Mr. Benke, her father, taught at Gilpin in the past. Inspired by him, she decided to follow in his footsteps. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts and playing “dungeons and dragons with her family.” Her favorite book is Eragon by Christopher Paolini.

Much like Mrs. Benke, Chloe Devore also attended Northern Colorado University for college. Chloe grew up in Kentucky. Her hometown is filled with “jungle like greenery” and it is well known for the Kentucky Derby, southern food, and the Mammoth Caves. Running and hiking are some of her favorite things to do, as well as teaching elementary. She became a teacher to share “life lessons” and “build relationships.” Since the staff is so friendly at Gilpin, it is the perfect place for her.

The furriest arrival, Bandito the therapy dog, may be why the staff is so happy. Peggy Pine, the new school therapist, helps students and coaches Bandito. Her passion for helping others sprung to life when she began “school at the Art Institute in Denver.” During a part-time job at a rehab center for moms, she realized that she wanted to be that safe person for kids to ask for help, especially since her childhood was hard. She found support at the local roller rink and with her friend running around on bikes and seeing special events. After moving around from school to school, she graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor’s in Social Work. Since she loves the mountains, she was very grateful to find Gilpin County.

Mr. Jacob Benson, who teaches MS and HS math, feels the same gratefulness. From the flat plains of Kansas, the change to our Colorado mountains is a welcome change in scenery. He loves to ski, hike, and draw. Because he wanted to have a positive influence in the world, he chose to be a teacher and he got his degree at Kansas State University. Gilpin not only seemed like a great opportunity because of the mountain vistas, but also because of the supportive community of people. His favorite movie is Napoleon Dynamite, a classic.

Here is to many more years and great relationships as these teachers grow within Gilpin School. Teachers are the framework of our society, and this new bunch will help shape delinquents into incredible adults. Gilpin students are truly lucky to have them. As famous historian Henry Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity; they can never tell where their influence stops.” Wish them luck and a never ending influence on their students.

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