There's an elementary school in South Fort Collins that takes a slightly different approach to educating youth.

Shepardson STEM Elementary at 1501 Springwood Drive puts an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — hence the STEM moniker.

"I like to describe it as we teach children to be curious and problem solvers," said first grade teacher Sarah Hufnagel.

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Hufnagel was voted the February Townsquare Media Teacher Tuesday winner for her work in the classroom. She wins a $500 check for her school, a $100 gift card to food delivery service Nosh NoCo, and a free oil change from Ozzie's Bodyshop.

"She just has a huge heart," said Shepardson STEM Elementary principal Wayne Thornes. "She does such a great job connecting with students and families."

Hufnagel is big on reading out loud to her young pupils and relishes when students turn a corner in their own development.

"I love when kids find their strength and gain confidence," Hufnagel said.

The current school year has been unlike any other in Hufnagel's career.  Here's how she explained what it is like to teach during the pandemic:

To be honest, it has been challenging. The one constant has been change. It has been tricky balancing the safety of my students with making school a fun place. I miss gathering on the rug for class meetings and story time. But we've developed new ways to connect —  be it online or in person.


Hufnagel joined us for an interview over Microsoft Teams. Watch the full interview below:



Know a worthy educator to be recognized later this school year? Fill out the form below for consideration.

2020-2021 Teacher Tuesday Winners

2019-20 Northern Colorado Teacher of the Month Winners


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