12 Jan Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1984 Scholar Beth Skelton
Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova.
Scholar Year: 1984
Hometown: Littleton (currently in Crawford)
College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): German Language and Literature (BA, 1989) with secondary teaching licensure; Curriculum and Instruction in Multicultural Teacher Education (MA, 1994)
I am an independent educational consultant. I support schools and educators across the United States and internationally in their quest to provide equitable education for English Language Learners. I love the challenges and variety in my work and the ability to impact students’ education. I have the opportunity to work directly with students, coach teachers, support principals, and facilitate workshops. Since I began consulting in 2002, I have worked with schools in 19 different states, in 12 different countries, and on five different continents.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
During my junior year at Colorado College, I won a scholarship from the college to study abroad in Germany for a year. I was able to put my Boettcher Scholarship on hold for that year, which meant I had an additional year of funded undergraduate study. During this fifth year at CC, I used the Boettcher Scholarship to earn my teaching certificate, which unexpectedly launched me into my career. I continue to be an involved Boettcher Scholar Alum serving as an Alumni Ambassador and on the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
In addition to serving on the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board, I also serve on the board of the Colorado Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. I regularly do yoga, hike, cross country and downhill ski, canoe, work in our organic garden, and spend as much time outside as possible. I’m also an avid reader and have been part of a local book club for the past 19 years. This past year I took on a new challenge and started learning to play marimba with a local group.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field?
In my first week of college, a senior Boettcher Scholar advised me to “major in professors, not classes.” This older Boettcher Scholar pointed me toward the best professors in all academic fields, and I ended up taking courses from calculus to philosophy in the first year. “Majoring in professors” meant that I was interested in every class and learned a lot about the magic of teaching from these dynamic and engaging individuals. I would advise current graduates entering education to share their passion freely with their students. Ignite them with your love of your content and set them on the path to lifelong learning.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
If I could share a meal with anyone from the past, I would choose my mother. Although she isn’t mentioned in a history book, she made a huge impact on my life and the lives of the nearly 1,000 kindergarten and first-grade students she taught to read during her career. She left this earth before I turned 30, and I would love the chance to talk to her again. I would ask her the personal questions that were never posed while she was alive and discuss educational issues with her again. Most of all, I would love to introduce her to my daughter, her namesake.