ADAMS State has graduated its first cohort of teachers seeking a mentor teacher endorsement through the Colorado Department of Education.

The cohort was comprised of 11 teachers from the Center Consolidated School District who partnered with the Adams State School of Education to launch the mentor teacher program under a state grant from the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Candidates completed 12 credit hours over the course of the 2021-2022 school year when they engaged in regular seminars and practicum experiences in mentoring and coaching of beginning teachers.

The seminars were co-taught at Center School District by Curtis Garcia, Ph.D., associate professor and School of Education director; and Michele Mann, Ph.D., assistant professor of education, who also provided on-site guidance and support in mentoring and coaching of beginning teachers in the district.

“It was inspiring to work with such a dedicated group of professionals as they drew upon their years of experience in the classroom to learn how to mentor, coach, and provide feedback to more novice teachers,” Garcia said.

Added Mann, “The time and effort these teachers put into mentoring and coaching not only contributed to the growth of new teachers, but supported the growth of their students.”

Reflecting on her experience in the program, Center Middle School Science teacher Mimi Dolan said: “Our work in this cohort has renewed my passion for teaching. I’ve found new ways to help beginning teachers become independent thinkers and self-evaluators.”

By completing the mentor teacher program, each candidate is now eligible to hold a mentor teacher endorsement along with a teaching license issued by the Colorado Department of Education. This endorsement was created by the state legislature under the “Growing Great Teachers Act” signed into law by Governor Jared Polis in 2019.

The School of Education is currently seeking candidates for a second cohort of the program set to launch in fall 2022. Contact Dr. Michele Mann at

PHOTO: Adams State’s first mentor teacher cohort celebrates at the Colorado Farm Brewery. Back row: Alex Magness, left, Nick Sizoo-Roberson, Tara Phillips, Joy Werner, JoAnn Lopez, Mimi Dolan and Kevin Hagan. Front row: Michele Mann, Ph.D., Lindsay Stillwagon, Christine Mikeljack, Anna Bishop and Curtis Garcia, Ph.D. Not pictured: Kindra Rounds.