Woodland Park High School (WPHS) Science Teacher Dan Ganoza has been selected as the 2018 Colorado Association of Science Teachers (CAST) Teacher of the Year! These awards for Excellence in Science Teaching are designed to recognize the teaching excellence in our PreK through college classrooms throughout the state of Colorado. The CAST awards are presented each year at the Colorado Science Conference on Nov. 8 in the amount of $500. In his fifth year as science teacher at WPHS, Mr. Ganoza received his Bachelors of Political Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy; Masters of Business Management at the University of Arkansas; and Masters of Education at Regis University. A retired Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Ganoza spent 22 years in the USAF with 13 deployments supporting Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Haiti. Mr. Ganoza is the teacher sponsor for the Colorado Environmental Science Team, leading the WPHS Envirothon Team to state championship the past three years and traveling to National Competitions in Idaho, Maryland, and Toronto, Canada. “It has been my distinct pleasure to work with Dan and his Environmental Science students for the past three years helping to prepare students for the Colorado and North American Envirothon competitions,” said Rose Banzhaf, WPHS Envirothon team advisor. “Dan’s commitment to his students has been a joy to observe. He goes way beyond what would be required as a classroom teacher. His enthusiasm and dedication transfers to his students, inspiring them to levels of interest and dedication that has made them successes in the classroom, on the AP exams, and at the Envirothon competitions,” she added. “I look forward to many more years working with Dan.” Mr. Ganoza’s teaching moves outside the classroom as he leads field trips to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Yellowstone National Park; holds monthly water quality checks on local rivers for the State of Colorado Riverwatch Program, and organizes a monthly “Saturday Seminar” with guest speakers on different environmental science topics of interest. He even led a two-week student summer trip to the Amazon River in the Peruvian Rainforest to do Marine Biology research. “Dan is highly engaging in experiential learning opportunities as he routinely takes groups of students to outdoor experiences in many of the United States’ National Parks – Yellowstone, Moab, the great Northwest and more,” said WPHS Principal Kevin Burr. “All of these trips with an academic purpose in mind – to gain first hand experiences with the environment.” Mr. Ganoza is also the WPHS Girls Head Soccer Coach, WPHS Boys Assistant Soccer Coach; and WPHS Girls Assistant Basketball Coach.