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2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year Nominee

Lisa Crabtree, '05 & '10

It was at CMU that Lisa Crabtree found out what she treasured, and she found it quite unexpectedly.

Despite not being a fan of history class in high school, she took some classes in college where she had a scholarship but no precise direction. “I credit Dr. Douglas O’Roarke and Dr. Steve Shulte with sparking my interest in history and ultimately changing my major to history education,” Crabtree said.

Her experiences as a Maverick “kind of changed my trajectory.”

She holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from CMU and now heads the social studies department at Fruita Monument High School.

She was recently nominated for the 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year award. For her nomination, Crabtree made a YouTube video on the need for civics in the classroom.

“You don’t have to look too much farther than the events of 2020 to realize the need for great understanding of the American form of government and how it best works,” Crabtree said.

With all the emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math, civics “just kind of fell by the wayside.”

To do her part to help revive civics, Crabtree earned the National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood/Social Studies – History. She was also selected to attend the Street Law Supreme Court Summer Institute in 2019.

She volunteered with the Kids Voting program and voter registration drives, hosted guest speakers including a U.S. senator and helped with a naturalization ceremony.

Motivated to teach more than just civics and history, Crabtree added another class for her students.

“This year I’m teaching a comparative-religion class.”

Crabtree embodies what it means to be a Maverick by continually inspiring the next generation to be well rounded members of society, just as O’Roarke and Shulte did for her.


Written by Gary Harmon