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Montrose County School District

MCSD is the largest rural district in the state, as well as Colorado’s first STEM District.

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Meet Dinah Irwin

Teacher Ambassador

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I enjoy teaching for the Montrose County School District because I am constantly reminded that in the 21st century, there is no such thing as isolation. Although Montrose is rural, we do not limit ourselves. We can’t literally take students to see where the American Revolution took place but we have become a STEM district provided with technology capable of virtual tours. Above all, after living here I have learned just how desirable our community is. We have the warmth of a small town, but the capability and grit of a large city.


  • 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher



      • 2020 Teacher of the Year Nominee
      • 2019 Apple Teacher of the Month
      • Columbine Middle School Leadership Team Member
      • Columbine Middle School Technology Committee
      • 7th and 8th Grade Girls Basketball Coach
      • Founder of the Columbine History Fact of the Day and Pledge Club Committee
      • Columbine Middle School Climbing Club Co-Founder
      • First grade level to complete Problem Based Learning "Voter Apathy" for the district

      Teacher Certification Program

        Why I Teach

        I teach because it is my purpose. Every day I feel fortunate to know that what I do is what I was meant to do. Being a teacher means I am a learner forever, and the possibility of gaining new perspectives and understanding is what growth is all about. Every day I look forward to finding ways to teach students how to love themselves, how to love education, and how to persevere through challenge. I strive to close the gap between the classroom and our community which, I believe, helps students develop patience, kindness, determination, and accountability. Not once have I ever dreaded the idea of going to work or bringing my work home with me. My life revolves around uncovering each of my students’ potential. I could not imagine doing anything else in my life that would bring me more joy than teaching.

        Not yet a licensed teacher? Don't worry! You can still apply for a teaching position today. Learn more about Colorado's alternative licensure pathway here.

        Montrose County School District RE-1J by the numbers

        • 400

          Dedicated Teachers

        • 6,222

          Engaged Learners

        • $36,629

          New Teacher Starting Salary

        About Montrose County School District RE-1J

        • About

          Centrally located on the Western Slope at the “Gateway to the Black Canyon”, Montrose County School District (MCSD) is the largest rural district in the state, as well as Colorado’s first STEM District. Serving more than 6,000 students in Montrose and Olathe, MCSD is committed to providing all students with a robust, rigorous educational experience, engaging students in critical thinking, creativity and collaborative problem-solving through relevant, real-world applications that prepare students for post-secondary opportunities and future careers.

          Students, school staff and their families belong to a close-knit community of more than 40,000 people and enjoy the unique natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes that offer a wide variety of outdoor adventures and activities, whether it’s skiing Telluride, boating Blue Mesa, fishing the Uncompahgre River, hiking in the Black Canyon, hunting on Grand Mesa or enjoying the natural hot springs in Ouray. Residents of Montrose and Olathe get the benefits of a small town atmosphere with all the amenities of a larger city within the wide-open spaces of Western Colorado, where the pace of life is just a little slower and a little sweeter.

        • Teaching in Montrose County School District RE-1J

          Montrose County is a unique region to live and work! 

          Teaching in MCSD allows opportunities for working collaboratively in an innovative community of educators, well-supported and unified by district leadership while retaining autonomy in each school. 

          We provide an abundance of professional development offerings ranging from innovative STEM and Problem-based learning programming, trauma-informed practices, Kagan Coaching, Capturing Kids Hearts, and many evidence-based educational training options. As a rural school district, we are a community and not just a classroom. MCSD offers the small town charm of seeing your students at the game on Friday, but also wide-open spaces to get lost on the weekends and holidays. New teachers are paired with highly-qualified mentors for induction and onboarding, providing the orientation and shared skills of standards-based instruction and classroom management.

          We partner with our local education association to negotiate fair compensation under a master contract of guaranteed equity and benefits. Other partnerships include Northglenn High School’s STEM Launch and Northglenn K-8 STEM Lab, Mindspark Learning, Colorado Mesa University, grades 6-12 one-to-one iPad technology partner with Apple, and a range of other connections and agencies. Local businesses and community experts regularly work with students to solve real-world problems currently facing Montrose County.

          Learn more about opportunities at MCSD here, or email humanresources@mcsd.org.

        • Salary, Compensation & Benefits

          MCSD offers a competitive compensation package to educators, including a range of different supplementary options such as stipends, salary advancement opportunities, partnerships with local universities to provide graduate tuition assistance and other benefits specific to our rural district. 

          Check out our salary schedule!

        • For Students

          MCSD students have several options to explore the teaching profession. Secondary students enrolled with the Project Unify program can intern with licensed special education teachers to mentor and assist special education Significant Support Needs students, both with classroom instruction and Special Olympics activities.

          Additionally, high school students may enroll in an Early Childhood Education CTE concurrent enrollment program at the Colorado Mesa University Montrose Campus, earning transcripted course credit required to become an early childhood teacher.

          In the Career Opportunities Studies internship program, students interested in becoming a teacher can apply for the H.E.L.P. (Help Educate Little People) Program to partner with a licensed teacher who serves as their mentor as they gain valuable classroom experience.

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