‘Visionary’ educator wins CU award
Grand Junction High School business and information technology teacher Brent Welch is one of 30 recipients statewide of the first-ever Outstanding Colorado Educator Award from the University of Colorado.
The Boulder-based university invited high schools across the state to each nominate one outstanding teacher for the award. Grand Junction High School
Principal Jon Bilbo said he and a group of assistant principals and counselors at the school decided to nominate Welch in part because of his efforts to expand the school’s business class offerings to include more computer technology courses and recruit students to take those courses.
Enrollment in technology-focused courses has increased from nine students a couple years ago to more than 150 now, according to Welch.
He also created a cyber security club two years ago at the school called Cyber Tigers and coaches students in the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
“We’re talking about a visionary who saw a need, was willing to give his time and energy to fill that need, and it’s just kind of mushroomed. There aren’t too many that can match his commitment,” Bilbo said.
Welch said he was humbled to be picked for the award, which he received at a ceremony in Boulder on Aug. 9.
“It’s an honor to be recognized and to know my peers feel that way about me,” Welch said.
Being an alumnus of the University of Colorado was not a requirement for the award. Welch graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in finance.
This is Welch’s 11th year teaching at Grand Junction High and his 14th as a teacher. He became a licensed teacher through a yearlong alternative licensing program through the Colorado Department of Education.