BRIGHTON — Brighton High School English teacher Kathey Ruybal has been selected to receive the Colorado Education Association’s Golden Apple Award. Ruybal, who has been teaching English at BHS for the last 20 years, said she was not expecting the award but was surprised to learn she was the recipient.
“I was super excited because it was for something that is really exciting for me,” she said. “It’s for teaching but it’s also for teacher advocacy and promoting the profession in a positive way.”
Brighton Education Association President Nate Golich nominated Ruybal for the award because he was really impressed with the consistency of her work. He said she’s a great leader and that she strives to make both the teaching profession and the relationship with the community better.
“Kathey is an amazing educator and she’s a great organizer and leader of both teachers and association members,” he said. “I’m extremely excited for her and she’s more than deserving of this honor.”
Ruybal loves to read and she tries to create an environment where her students can learn to love reading. She says she can usually find a book for every student, at any reading level.
“I’m a very avid reader and I feel like if you can get kids to read, then you’ve really hooked them,” she said. “I feel if I can get students who are struggling readers interested in books that it will make a huge difference.”
To help inspire students to read, Ruybal has created a book club at Brighton High School, modeled after Governor John Hickenlooper’s One Book One Denver, and now has over 70 students participating. She has also raised nearly $10,000 towards the English Department’s reading library, created community-classroom projects that bring local leaders into her classroom to share their experience, and serves as an organizing leader in the Brighton Education Association.
Ruybal will receive the award during the Colorado Education Association Delegate Assembly on April 11 in Denver. She will then be named as the Colorado nominee for the National Education Association Teaching Excellence Award and will join fellow nominees from across the country at the Salute to Excellence Education Gala in February 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Ruybal lives in Brighton with her husband Gus, who teaches science at Overland Trail Middle School, and their two daughters Amanda and Mia.