Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1984 Scholar Mark Hess

Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1984 Scholar Mark Hess

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: Yuma
College(s) and degree(s): CU-Boulder, BA English 1988; CU-Colorado Springs, MA Education 2000

Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?

I teach elementary gifted and talented students in Colorado Springs School District 11. I’m finishing my 30th year as a teacher, and I plan to teach 40 years or maybe even more. I have published more than 200 units and lessons for gifted learners, and I consult and teach teachers through professional development as well. I love my job, love the kids, and have a passion for gifted education.

What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?

Like most Boettcher Scholars, I have a passion for learning. I always loved school. My dad was a teacher, and growing up in a small town I was a “school rat.” I didn’t want to miss anything, and I was involved in practically everything. If I wasn’t in classes, I was at a ball game, at a sports practice, attending a concert at the school, in a play, at a school potluck, or playing around on the school playground or in the gym. It was natural for me to become a teacher.

Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.

I am the president of the Pikes Peak Association for Gifted Students and a state board member for the Colorado Association of Gifted and Talented.

What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field?

The best advice I’ve received is never stop learning and growing. I would advise current Scholars entering education to lead with their heart, but I wouldn’t need to say it. If they are considering being a teacher, they’ve already decided to do just that.

If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?

I would have dinner with my grandparents, and that’s an easy one for me – if not such an interesting choice for this question – because I love my grandparents and miss them. I want to hear all of the old stories again.

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