The Denver Tech Center Rotary stepped up this year and donated $1,000 to the new teachers here at Thomas Jefferson High School.
The Denver Tech Center (DTC) Rotary is a branch of the global organization Rotary International. The rotary meets every Tuesday at Glenmore Country Club in order to discuss how to support the community through community service and unique programs. The rotary is particularly close with Thomas Jefferson High School as it is home to the Interact Club. Interact is a community service club sponsored by the DTC Rotary. At one of the meetings, a rotarian suggested that the club support the incoming teachers at Thomas Jefferson with a stipend to lessen some of the extra expenses of starting this particular career. Teachers are often expected to buy school supplies and classroom necessities with their own money. One of the club’s members, CTE Partnership Coordinator, Danny Showers, knows all too well how expensive the field of education can be. For teachers who are just starting out, the numbers really start to add up. Showers started off the funding by donating $100. Soon, many other club members joined in matching his amount and ended up with an impressive $1,000 for the cause.
Through the wonderful TJ administration like Jon Poole, they organized a list of the newer teachers at the school that would most benefit from the funding. The opportunity was opened up to first and second-year teachers as well as teachers who were new to TJ specifically. It’s not uncommon for teachers to spend anywhere from $200-$500 a year out-of-pocket on school materials. Poole mentioned, ”New teachers make significantly less than other teachers even in the new and improved salary schedule, and especially teaching in Denver where the cost of living is so high, [the donation] was really generous and thoughtful.” Additionally, when teachers move schools they tend to lose a lot of the supplies they have acquired over the years in the transition process. Thus, the administrators chose teachers like Justin Kaplon, Herb Lynch, Dakota Trammell, and Jamie Trimarchi to receive the donation.
The school does supply some items to teachers at the beginning of the year, but the funding was allowed for items that teachers typically have to request and get approved. The donation accounted for items that teachers require in order to enhance their classroom and unique teaching style. Lynch received paper, pencils, and markers for his class. “Students who are unable to supply their own paper and pencils due to socioeconomic reasons are able to use the supplies given to us by the donation. I was able to do an interactive group project on SAT testing strategies and we were able to make posters instead of doing just a worksheet or routine assignment. We were able to do an interactive, small group, hands-on project, and I can put the product of that project outside in the hallways for others to see and use,” he said. Generously supplying new teachers with the materials they need for the year allows them to best serve their students and the TJ community as a whole. The donation was not only appreciated by the teachers, but by the TJ staff and students as well. Lynch mentioned: “I was debating to use my own money to buy the supplies, but instead the donation showed that other members of the community value instruction and were willing to donate their monetary resources to support the classroom.”
The generous donation from the DTC Rotary will have a lasting positive impact on the TJ community for years. Through the Interact Club, the Thomas Jefferson community looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the rotary and strengthen the symbiotic relationship even further.