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Westgate Community School

WCS is K-12 gifted education for the whole child—mind, body and community.

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Meet Kris Hamilton

Teacher Ambassador

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Adams County ranks fifth among Colorado's largest counties. I have worked in the Adams 12 District since the fall of 2000. The district provides opportunities for continuing education that have helped me be a true lifelong learner. Adams 12 supports charters through their mentoring program. This lets our teachers access the same professional development opportunities and resources provided to all the other Adams 12 schools. I’m thankful to Adams 12 for their continued support.

Teaching

  • 1st and 2nd Grade Team Lead

Education

      Awards

      • Grade Level Team Leader
      • Mentor Teacher
      • Teacher Cadet Advisory Committee
      • PEBC Residency Mentor Program

      Teacher Certification Program

        Why I Teach

        As a child, school was difficult for me. I was taught that failing was never an option, let alone something to celebrate. I was never taught that struggle is part of the learning process, and that getting through struggle is what makes you successful. That is why I became a teacher. I try to shift the culture away from the idea that mistakes are shameful. I teach my students that it’s courageous to admit when something didn’t work out the way you hoped, and celebrate the bravery it took to try. That’s the school environment I wish I’d had as a child.

        One of my favorite parts of teaching is helping students learn about themselves. My goal for students is for them to learn to accept themselves for who they are, not only as learners, but as individuals. I want them to know that it’s okay to be different and stand out. Watching them push through tough moments and celebrating those successes with them makes all the difference! I work to give my students the tools to face adversity, whether they are being bullied, having difficulties at home, or are learning to regulate their emotions. I want them to see those adversities as opportunities to be the best person they can be. The little moments I share with students continue to drive me as a teacher, and I hope to never stop learning right along with them!

        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.

        Westgate Community School by the numbers

        • 37

          Dedicated Teachers

        • 520

          Engaged Learners

        • $44,000

          New Teacher Starting Salary

        About Westgate Community School

        • About

          Westgate Community School is K-12 gifted education for the whole child—mind, body and community. We serve gifted and creative students who thrive in a less traditional setting. Westgate embeds environmental education, service learning, movement and social-emotional growth into the core of what we do each day. The K-8 program stresses depth and complexity in a student-centered classroom. Our high school program is an Early College Model through which students may earn their associate's degree alongside their high school diploma.

        • Teaching in Westgate Community School

          Westgate Community School believes teaching is both art and science. We respect teachers and give them the power and autonomy they need to do what's right for the students they serve. At Westgate, teachers are the creators of their classrooms and are central to decision-making. We support teachers in taking risks toward becoming the vision of the teacher they always wanted to be.

          Every teacher has a coach who supports their growth. We provide ongoing professional development in and out of the building to enrich the growth of our staff.  Opportunities to lead are embedded throughout the school. Our greatest wish is that teachers find their professional home within our school.

          We are a community of friends and peers. We laugh. We cry. We trust. We work. We play. We celebrate. We do this work together for the greatest good of the school, our students, families and for one another.

          Learn more about opportunities at Westgate Community School here, or email sharon.collins@westgateschool.org.

        • Salary, Compensation & Benefits

          Westgate offers a very competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. Teachers with bachelor's degrees start at $44,000, while masters start at $48,000. Teachers can earn additional stipends by taking on leadership roles or by sponsoring passion-driven clubs such as crochet, rock band, karaoke, improv and Magic the Gathering.

          Medical, vision and disability coverage are paid in-full for the employee. Additionally, we offer dental plans and Aflac. Our innovative school calendar supports work-life balance and sets employment at Westgate apart from other schools. We enjoy a two-week fall break, the week of Thanksgiving, a three-week winter break and a two-week spring break. Our summer is about eight weeks long. We believe these natural breaks support the greatest student learning and teacher health and wellness.

        • For Students

          Our high school students have the opportunity to take college classes at Front Range Community College and each senior completes an internship. Students who wish to explore a career in teaching get hands-on experience by becoming Teaching Assistants for our K-8 teachers. These components of our programming allow students to explore professional aspirations, including education.

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