CCIC educators recognized by Aerospace Physiology Society
Three educators from the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (CCIC) were recently recognized by the Aerospace Physiology Society for their ability to inspire students’ achievement through innovative learning.
“I am incredibly impressed with the talent and dedication of CCIC teachers and staff,” Principal Steve Day said.
Elerie Archer, one of the instructors of the campus’ Certified Nursing Assistant course, received this year’s Partnership in Education Award. Educators Dave Williamson (Aviation) and Paul Clinton (STEAM) also received the APS Partnership in Education Special Recognition awards.
Archer, who has been a registered nurse providing care to patients for over 25 years, brings her experience in healthcare settings to her role as a full-time instructor. As a cheerleader for her students, she wants to bring real-world scenarios into the learning environment so that students can truly understand if they’ve found the right career path.
“We simulate the experience as much as we can with practical lessons, even including fake body fluids that do actually smell,” Archer said. “While some students realize that nursing is not the right career path, many of our students realize that this is what they were born to do.”
The other honorees, Clinton and Williamson, also rely heavily on real-world experiences to help their students find their pathway of purpose. Clinton, a STEAM teacher at the CCIC, partnered with South Metro Fire & Rescue to develop materials for their trainings. He appreciates being able to work across disciplines and wants to help students pursue their passions with the experience that will help prepare them for their future.
“As soon as possible, students need to experience a real-world atmosphere,” Clinton said. “Education alone is not sufficient in preparing students after high school. Working with experienced people both in education and industry sets our students ahead in terms of obtaining internships, apprenticeships and jobs.”
Williamson, who teaches aviation, came to his role with no formal teacher training. He works to ensure his students feel that the lessons are practical, applicable and grounded in reality.
“I always try to relate the training I give to the field. We look at the effects of altitude on the body, including fatigue, pressure and stress,” Williamson said. “This allows students to translate the math assignment they’ve been given to what their future selves will need to do.”
The instructors were honored to receive the award, but noted that the real honor is getting to work with the students at the CCIC every day.
“Being able to help our students find their way in life and give them the necessary skills is a blessing and an honor,” Archer said. “They teach me as much as I teach them, and I am so grateful for being part of this work.”