A Basalt High School teacher is one of of the best in the state, and her main focus is working with students learning English as a second language. At a surprise assembly on Monday, Colorado Education Commissioner Elliott Asp spoke glowingly about Leticia “Ticia” Guzman Ingram.
“She’s passionate, respected, and incredibly knowledgeable,” applauded Asp, after announcing Ingram's Colorado Teacher of the Year award. “She believes that teaching and community development can also include the world community, when she works with teachers across borders.” Ingram fought back tears, moments after learning about her award. “I’m overwhelmed and shocked, and humbled and excited,” she said afterwards. “All these mixed emotions, I can’t believe it. I just have to give the whole honor to my school, it’s totally my students. All I did was tell their stories.”
Ingram has taught English, History, and Math at Basalt High for the last five years. She largely works with students who are learning English after growing up speaking other languages. One of her mentees, originally from El Salvador, spoke passionately about how Ingram helped him feel at home in Basalt. After the ceremony, student Caleb Rewinkel agreed that the award was a good idea. “I think it’s well deserved,” he said, before heading off to lunch. “She tries to make people connect, helps people to group up and find friends.”
At Monday’s announcement, private award sponsors and local businesses also praised Ingram for that work. With the honor comes some money to cover travel expenses, since Ingram will have a busy schedule with conferences, and even a trip to the White House next April. She’s entered in to win the national title as well.