Mrs. Sue Ellen Kempton

Mrs. Sue Ellen Kempton's picture
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About Me
Biographical Sketch: 

I've always been interested in the world around us and understanding how things work. I grew up south of Denver and my parents still live in the house I grew up in.  I first moved to Fort Collins to go CSU to become a park ranger/naturalist and worked in National Parks and Colorado State Parks, outdoor education centers, Discovery Science Center, and Little Shop of Physics before becoming a teacher. I've lived in Colorado, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Alaska. I'm married and live with a dog, cat, horse, garter snake, box turtle, and leopard gecko.  I live north of Fort Collins by the Poudre River in the 1908 farm house that my spouse grew up in. We love to travel and try new things!

Educational Background: 

I earned my Master of Science in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University, my Colorado Teaching License from UNC, and my Bachelor of Science from CSU in Resource Management and Interpretation.  I also studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland for a semester.  I am Endorsed in Gifted and Talented and Elementary Education. I am a lifelong learner and have taken classes at Front Range Community College in addition to participating in lots of professional development for teachers including literacy, math, gifted and talented classes by Poudre and Greeley School Districts, and CAGT.  I've also taken courses in science, art, and engineering at The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Little Shop of Physics, The Butterfly Pavilion, The Denver Zoo, The Denver Botanic Gardens, RAFT, and National Science Teachers Association conferences. I have led teacher workshops at Colorado Association of Science Teachers and NSTA conferences. I'm on the PSD Science district curriculum team and work with other STEM Educators in PSD and across the country to integrate and implement STEM at Timnath. I've spent many hours over the summer planning and collaborating with other GT compacted math teachers.

Why I enjoy teaching: 

I love sharing my knowledge, curiosity, and enthusiasm for science and nature with everyone, but especially children because they have those wonderful "aha" moments! I also enjoy creating lessons and the challenge of integrating subjects and making connections to the world outside school, both in science and with my GT students.

Favorite Books: 

The Lost Years of Merlin series and The Ancient One by T.A. Barron, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper,  Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (what started me reading in 3rd grade), Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy M. Montgomery, most of Madeleine L'Engle, and most of Terry Tempest Williams books. I also collect anything published by or about Olaus, Mardy, and Adolf Murie including my favorite, Two in the Far North. Mardy Murie, "the grandmother of conservation" is my hero! She was a naturalist, author, and adventurer who was instrumental in protecting thousands of acres of Alaska's wilderness.

Interests & Hobbies: 

I love to travel!  I have been to all 50 states and parts of 4 continents. I snorkel whenever possible and keep a list of all the fish and animals I see.  Visiting the Great Barrier Reef in Australia was amazing! I also like to bird watch and have a life list I started in graduate school.  I have seen over 650 different species of birds. I enjoy making useful things like bowls and cups as well as whimsical things like fairy houses and Christmas ornaments for friends in pottery classes.  We have a 400 sq. foot veggie garden that keeps me busy in summer. I enjoy photography, reading, camping, eating out and going to concerts. I'm also a LEGO fanatic and lead the Timnath First LEGO League Robotics team!

What I love about my school: 

Timnath is such a wonderful community school!  I love that students parade through main street on Halloween and local residents and parents volunteer in classes. Everyone is very caring and supportive of each other and the focus is on our students. I also really like that I can share my knowledge and expertise to excite and engage all our students in science. 

Favorite Quote: 

"Awaken people's curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload them...put there just a spark!" Anatole France

My Classroom
Courses Taught: 

I teach a 4th/5th compacted math class for 4th graders, and a 5th/6th compacted math class for 5th graders every day. I also have a 5th grade GT reading group.

About My Classroom: 

After 6 wonderful years teaching science and engineering as a STEM special, this year 2019-2020, I will be supporting teachers with the new Colorado state science standards in their classrooms.  

As a GT teacher, my goal is to challenge students to take academic risks to reach their full potential. I want students to feel empowered and take responsibility for their own learning.