The Succeeds Prize Awards Top Colorado’s Schools and Educators with $150,000

1,000 leaders across business, education and government gathered to celebrate and reward game-changing educators and schools from across the state.

(Sept. 19, 2018) Denver, Colo.– Four Colorado public schools and two groups of public educators last night each received $15,000 awards from The Succeeds Prize during a celebration honoring excellence in education. The Succeeds Prize is the most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado teachers and schools. The awards also share promising teaching practices and elevate excellent educators to impact Colorado’s nearly 900,000 students. Click here for the event livestream. For photos, click here.

A partnership between 9NEWS, Colorado Succeeds and mindSpark Learning, The Succeeds Prize awarded schools across six award categories with a total of $150,000 in cash prizes. The winners were selected by accomplished panels of experts representing the education, government and business communities.

The winners of The Succeeds Prize 2018 are:

  • Transformational Impact in an Elementary School – Presented by TTEC: Paonia Elementary School
  • Transformational Impact in a Middle School – Presented by DaVita: Carbondale Middle School
  • Transformational Impact in a High School – Presented by the Western Union Foundation: Denver Center for International Studies
  • Excellence in STEM Education – Presented by Ball Corporation: Northridge Elementary School
  • Excellence in Education Innovation – Presented by Janus Henderson Investors: Colleen Owens, Green Mountain High School
  • Excellence in Technology Enabled Learning – Presented by Arrow Electronics: Sean Wybrant, William J. Palmer High School

The winners in each category received $15,000. The runners up in each category received between $2,500 and $5,000. School leaders will determine how to use the unrestricted prize money to supercharge their success.

Elementary Award Winner
“The teachers, school staff and community of Paonia have focused considerable effort on the academic growth of all of our students over the past decade,” said Sam Cox, principal of Paonia Elementary School. “We were honored to receive recognition as a finalist for The Succeeds Prize for Transformational Impact at the Elementary last year. To now be the recipient of the final award is an unexpected acknowledgement of the tremendous work of our students. Thank you to The Succeeds Prize committee and supporters! We look forward to partnering with the organization over the coming year to continue to support the growth of students across the state.”

Middle School Award Winner
“Our entire school community has worked tirelessly and relentlessly to support the success of all of our students,” said Jennifer Lamont, principal of Carbondale Middle School. “The Succeeds Prize for Transformational Impact in a Middle School is welcomed recognition for our efforts, and we are grateful for the opportunity to further our success through future professional development and training opportunities through this initiative.”

High School Award Winner
“Building tomorrow’s global leaders through strong college ready curriculum and an emphasis on multicultural awareness and understanding is something we take very seriously,” said Theresa McCorquodale, principal of Denver Center for International Studies. “We are honored to have won The Succeeds Prize for Transformational Impact in a High School. We look forward to using this prestigious honor to further our work in preparing students to be interculturally competent citizens who actively engage in our rapidly changing world.”

STEM Award Winner
“This recognition allows our students to see that their work can become a reality – what an empowering message for students everywhere,” said Lorynda Sampson, principal of Northridge Elementary School. “Northridge is committed to delivering exceptional educational experiences through STEM and design thinking to engage our students in their learning and prepare them for success in a complex, STEM-driven future. Thank you to The Succeeds Prize for recognizing our dedication to STEM supporting us in building future-ready learners.”

Innovation Award Winner
“We are honored and grateful to receive The Succeeds Prize for Excellence in Education Innovation,” said Colleen Owens, principal of Green Mountain High School. “When students have the opportunity to do hands-on problem solving, engagement and learning skyrocket. The Succeeds Prize will allow us to expand Geometry in Construction to more students across Jefferson County Public Schools. Thank you to The Succeeds Prize and to Janus Henderson Investors for investing in educators and our students.”

Technology Enabled Learning Award Winner
“Colorado’s students are capable of having a tremendous impact on the world, if we give them the opportunity,” said Sean Wybrant, teacher at Palmer High School. “We are honored to receive The Succeeds Prize for Technology Enabled Learning, which will allow us to expand our student-to-student collaboration with kids in Saipan and provide learning opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. Thank you to The Succeeds Prize and to Arrow for investing in our work to pioneer learning experiences across the globe.”

In addition to receiving the cash prizes, the winners will also receive customized professional training from mindSpark Learning, a non-profit dedicated to re-engineering education through educators with unique professional learning experiences for both the school leader and teacher.

About The Succeeds Prize
The Succeeds Prize is the most prestigious awards and recognition event for Colorado’s public schools and educators. It honors the transformational impact Colorado’s public schools and educators are leading across the state. It also serves as a year-long opportunity to share and scale successful practices while elevating innovative educators so every student in Colorado can benefit.

The Succeeds Prize is sponsored by the business community in partnership with 9NEWS, Colorado Succeeds, and mindSpark Learning. Learn more at


Jamie Trafficanda

Manager of Communications and Programs
Colorado Succeeds