Published: Oct. 2, 2019

Best should teach logoWith a theme focused on what it takes to truly know and love students, CU Boulder celebrated excellence in education by recognizing five faculty members — including Wendy Glenn, professor of education — K-12 teachers, and graduate students with Best Should Teach Awards on Sept. 12.

The late lifelong educator Lindley Stiles and his wife Marguerite Stiles established the Best Should Teach Initiative in 1996, and Stiles’ inspiring motto is inscribed on the School of Education Building: “To those who come, I leave the flame! Hold it as high as you can reach. If a better world is your aim, all must agree: The Best Should Teach.”

The 2019 Best Should Teach Gold Awards for faculty honored: 

  • Mona Attwa, Instructor of Arabic, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations
  • Emmanuel David, Assistant Professor, Department of Women and Gender Studies
  • Wendy Glenn, Program Chair of Secondary Humanities and Professor of Literacy Studies, School of Education
  • Erika Randall, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance
  • Kate Semsar, Assistant Director for STEM Education and Instructor, Miramontes Arts & Sciences Program (MASP)

In addition, the awards also recognized graduate student teachers and four public teachers from the School of Education's partner districts. All awardees were selected for their embodiment of the beliefs, behaviors, and skills of exemplary teachers, such as: Believes all students can learn and is dedicated to meeting each student’s unique needs; maintains professionalism as a lifelong learner and reflective practitioner; exhibits expert instructional skills and a high level competency in his/her subject areas; and gives back to the teaching profession by mentoring others, partnering with parents, and collaborating with colleagues to formulate instructional policy and staff/curriculum development.

Best Should Teach 2019 teacher honorees from local school districts include: Best should teach teachers

  • Rachel Calus, Adams 12 Five Star School District, 4th grade teacher at STEM Launch in Thornton
  • Sherie Dike-Wilhelm, St Vrain Valley School District, English Language Development Liaison and Bi-Literacy Interventionist at Columbine Elementary in Longmont
  • Tami Dawn Hart, Brighton 27J, Engineering Teacher at Prairie View High School in Henderson
  • Dawn Ringenbach, Boulder Valley School District, art teacher and the teacher librarian at Emerald Elementary in Broomfield

The ceremony featured award-winning author and University of Georgia professor Bettina L. Love, who will deliver the keynote talk, “We want to do more than survive: Abolitionist teaching as anti-racist pedagogy.” Love was a dynamic speaker as one of the field’s most esteemed educational researchers in the areas of hip hop education and urban education. Her work is also concerned with how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged schools rooted in intersectional social justice aimed at creating more equitable classrooms. She explored how teachers can truly know and learn from black and brown children in order to teach them and know students' beauty.

The Best Should Teach initiative is managed by the Center for Teaching and Learning in coordination with the School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School. To learn more about the initiative, visit

View Photo Album