One teacher was honored at the annual Baylor University School of Education Senior Recognition Banquet on May 14, held online this year. Following tradition, Baylor School of Education seniors had the opportunity to nominate teachers who had been influential in their lives. Students submitted nomination essays about their teachers, and the awarded educator was chosen by a Baylor faculty committee.
This year, Bruce Collamore of Centennial, Colorado, an eighth-grade math teacher at Kent Denver School in Englewood, Colorado, was honored with the Baylor School of Education’s “Most Memorable Teacher” award. Collamore has been a teacher for 43 years, 36 of them at Kent Denver.
Collamore was nominated by Caroline Reid, a Kent Denver graduate of 2016 who just graduated from Baylor with a BSEd in Elementary Education. Reid took Mr. Collamore’s math class as an eighth grader at Kent Denver School. In her nomination essay, Reid admitted that when she started school at Kent, she was not prepared for the level of math expected from her, and therefore began to doubt her own abilities. It was Collamore’s class that changed her perspective.
“When he taught me, he made math into something I felt smart at by first making me feel like a smart and capable student,” Reid said.
In his free time, Collamore tutors economically disadvantaged students at His Love Fellowship Church.
Reid said, “I had the absolute pleasure of working with him and his wife years later on Wednesday nights at an outreach program for moms and their children. It was here that I saw his gift for reaching every child – no matter his or her circumstances – really come to life.”
Upon receiving the award, Collamore said, “It is truly an honor and a privilege to be able to work with young people and help guide them on their journey through the middle-school world. Hopefully, through pouring into their lives, they will feel comfortable having more in-depth conversations about life.”
Reid continues to hold on to the impact Collamore has had on her life, especially as she launches her own career as a teacher.
“I might not remember every math skill I learned in that class (sorry, Mr. Collamore), but I will never forget the way in which Mr. Collamore took me from a struggling student, too clouded by her own personal feelings of not being good enough, to a student who felt confident in herself and her abilities,” Reid said.
Collamore said that his advice to new teachers such as Reid is to love and connect with each student. Also, he said, “Preserve the life-work balance; learn to say ‘no’ when asked to do a million things related to your job; and take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically.”
—by Katie Coats
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