GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Amy Byrne at Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary has taught K-5, special needs, and computer labs over the last two decades. She’s even been recognized as a Kiwanis Educator of the Year, and now she’s been chosen to win a KREX Golden Apple Award.

The 3rd grade is a big transition year for kids. They come from the primary grades K-2 and are entering an introduction to the intermediate grades. By the time 3rd grade ends, they know multiplication facts, they’re starting division, and they’ve developed reading and writing skills. We asked Ms. Byrne what she loves about teaching, not only this age group, but all the other elementary grades as well. She said, “Because of the influence that I get to have on the little lives that are in my room. I enjoy watching the growth and the learning, and even their struggles and watching them overcome those struggles.”

Ms. Byrne actually went to Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary herself. She’s a product of School District 51. She’s currently teaching her 3rd grade class in her old 5th grade classroom. And, her 5th grade teacher is one of the reasons she wanted to teach. She told us, “My elementary school is the foundation of my career with D51, and also my school career in District 51. For me it was like coming home to be back here in this building, and it’s come full circle for me to now be able to provide the education that I received when I was a student here.” 

As the 2022 Kiwanis Educator of the Year, there’s no doubt that Ms. Byrne is indeed an outstanding educator. I asked her what she thinks people need to know about being a teacher, here’s what she said, “We love these kids like they’re our own kids. We keep them safe, we care for them, we worry about them, we lose sleep at night over them because we want them to succeed as much as we’d want our own children to succeed.”

Ms. Byrne really has everything it takes to be considered a great teacher, and her current class couldn’t agree more. Thank you for your dedication to teaching kids over the last 25 years, and congratulations for winning a Golden Apple Award.