GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — The May winner for our D51 KREX Golden Apple Award has been making headlines a lot recently, and he’s not done yet. Coady Shawcroft has led Grand Junction High School’s academic team to some major wins, and was also chosen as the Kiwanis Educator of the Year.

Mr. Shawcroft has been part of an academic team for more than half his life, and as a Grand Junction High School graduate himself, he was a member of the team he now coaches. While the GJHS academic team has racked up 23 state titles over the years, after the pandemic there was only one member left, but Mr. Shawcroft has been rebuilding the team ever since. He told us, “Basically, we talked to the students, and we were just like okay, so what do we want out of this program? Well, we want to win state, and we want to put together a good team, and we want to be competitive for nationals. It was like all right, let’s do it, let’s go all out.” And that’s exactly what they did. The team remained undefeated throughout the entire year, before bringing home the national title. 

Regardless of winning championships and awards, Mr. Shawcroft doesn’t do it for the glory, he’s in it for the kids. He wants to make sure to be a positive influence to all his students. He said, “Students come to you however they come to you, and you only have them for a limited amount of time each day. When you have a limited amount of influence, but you can use that influence, and watching where they grow and what they become is so exciting. It’s so important because these are your community members afterwards. It’s about building our community long term.”

Both of Mr. Shawcroft’s parents were involved in education, so for him, education was something that was always part of his life and his values. He said when he was in high school, he spent time working as a teacher’s aide and realized teaching was something he could do for the rest of his life. He told us, “Being back in my home school, at Junction, and helping lead the team to success and helping students, it’s really kind of my dream job.”

Congratulations Mr. Shawcroft, for winning a Golden Apple award, for being chosen as the Kiwanis Educator of the Year, and for leading the academic team to success, and thank you for your commitment as an educator.