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D51 student teacher Melanie Monroe receives $1,000 award at Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary

CMU’s mascot Rowdy surprised Melanie Monroe and her third/fourth grade class to announce that the CMU education major was the winner of CMU’s Future is Now scholarship award. The scholarship was created in connection with the university’s COVID-19 response effort

“I was just so surprised and on the verge of tears,” said Monroe. “I don’t know how the kids kept this a secret. I entered the contest because a lot of my friends go to colleges that are still shut down, and I just wanted them to see that at CMU we are still in person and open.”

Colorado Mesa University was among the nation’s select campuses to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campus’ Safe Together, Strong Together pandemic response plan received national attention and attracted strategic partners including the Broad Institute and COVIDCheck Colorado. Partnerships with these organizations allowed CMU to remain open for in-person learning and continue training student teachers, like Monroe, who are important to Mesa County Valley School District 51 schools like Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary.

“We are excited to always be partnering with CMU and the teacher education program,” said Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary Assistant Principal Amy Shepherd-Fowler. “Through their program, CMU has been able to enrich our student’s lives as well as provide a great experience for their students with a diverse population. Student teachers are an amazing asset to our schools. They bring in new research and learning from the university, but they also cross train with our professionals and we all grow each other.”

CMU President Tim Foster often speaks in the community about the importance of D51’s partnership with CMU. A partnership that spans concurrent enrollment and PTECH schools to working jointly to create the next generation of local educators.

“I was happy to hear the Future is Now scholarship winner is also a future D51 educator,” said Foster. “The selection of Monroe allows CMU to highlight how important the partnership is between CMU and D51, and her service to children a Lincoln Orchard Mesa helps us tell the story about how essential student teachers and interns from CMU are to local schools.”

During the scholarship presentation each student in the class took turns telling Monroe what they liked most about her as a teacher. Each child spoke about the virtues of Monroe and took turns hugging her as she received the scholarship. Rowdy handed out CMU face coverings to each student and the classroom teacher.

Monroe will complete here student teaching at Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary and plans to continue on with a career in education.


Written by David Ludlam