This years High School Science Teacher of The Year Award for Colorado was given to a teacher here at Woodland Park High School. The award was given to veteran, basketball coach, father and instructor, Mr. Daniel Ganoza. He is a hard working and admirable teacher. Ganoza has accomplished many things in his lifetime, so what does earning Science Teacher of The Year Award mean to him?
Dan Ganoza is very appreciative for getting the award, since his efforts were being recognized. He recognizes that there are many other science teachers (some teaching at Woodland Park High School) that are more expert at their job. Ganoza says, “Lately I’ve had a string of good luck, for example, we won our state environmental competition three years in a row now, I took some kids on an unprompted trip to Yellowstone, I took some kids to South America this last summer, other kids went to Utah in the spring…I’ve done some weird things lately that has put me in the spotlight”. The trips Ganoza has taken his students on have rose eyebrows along with the accomplishments he has had during the state environmental competitions. Ganoza has given much credit to his students for the award he has earned, thanking the 2018 graduates for allowing him to be their commencement speaker. Ganoza explains that he joined Woodland Park High School to be closer to his son but in no time an excitement and passion for the job ignites. Science is close to his heart because, “….it’s always relevant….we can find the science to fit the need of any student”. Mr. Ganoza also expressed his gratitude towards his fellow teachers at Woodland Park High School. He says, “…in a lot of ways there are better teachers than I am at being a teacher, so I am reliant on them all the time and they’re always giving me hints”. Mr. Ganoza is very thankful for all of the people who have allowed him to receive such a great award.
As Ganoza said, his students played a large role of him earning High School Science Teacher of The Year Award for Colorado. We spoke with Brandon Smith, a senior here at Woodland Park High School who explains that Ganoza relaxed way of teaching allows Ganoza to build relationships with his students that further their understanding of the material being learned in his classes. Brandon says, “…I would say he is the best science teacher we have here, most of the other science teachers just give you busy work then they just go back to their desks for the rest of the class period”. Brandon says that although Ganoza’s teaching style doesn’t work for every student he still makes an effort to reach all of his students. Brandon Smith says, “..he tries connecting with kids individually so her can see how they learn and help them out, he tells stories that keeps in interesting but but we still learn”. Ganoza’s personality allows his students to be comfortable in the classroom and enables them to learn in depth.