The wide variety of educators throughout Durango undeniably nourishes the heart and soul of our mountain town. Among this sea of highly essential teachers, one stands out for her achievements in education, her passion for teaching, and her love of children.
Corey Zirkelbach has been a teacher for 13 years, and has taught everything from kindergarten to second grade; she currently teaches second grade at Riverview Elementary. As an avid hockey player, skier, and reader, Zirkelbach embodies the well-rounded educator and encapsulates the persona of a Durango teacher and leader.
After winning an outstanding teaching award for the 2019-20 school year for her exceptional dedication and passion, Zirkelbach continues to rise above—not only for her students, but for her community, too.
Zirkelbach’s commitment and enthusiasm toward teaching stems from her absolute love for her students, and this dedication inspires her teaching methods and helps her to achieve her goals.
“One of my favorite things with kids is watching those lightbulbs turn on and then watching them use what they know. And kids are just fun to be around! I love having conversations with them. I love to sit down and have lunch with them. I just love to spend my time with them,” says Zirkelbach.
In an ever-changing society, teaching standards and methods must adapt to keep pace. This new reality requires a heavy emphasis on technology in the classroom. As a second-grade teacher, Zirkelbach struggles, like most, to incorporate technology into her classroom, especially since most of her students don’t know the first thing about using a computer. With an abundance of hard work and dedication to her students, Zirkelbach has persisted in adjusting to the obstacles brought on by COVID-19 while also maintaining the high standards for which our teachers are known.
“I think students want teachers to be fair and kind. I think they want them to be fun and energetic, and to have a passion—so they want to be at school. They want to know that you like them and that you’ll be there for them,” says Zirkelbach, highlighting the qualities she undoubtedly possesses.
Corey Zirkelbach not only personifies an ideal teacher, but she serves as our reminder to appreciate and thank every educator in the Durango community for their indispensable contributions to our lives and the lives of our children.