Travis Bryant named SSSD teacher of the year

Travis Bryant has been Educator of the Year for Steamboat Springs School District.
Steamboat School District: Courtesy of

Travis Bryant, an Industrial Arts teacher at Steamboat Springs Middle School, has been named the 2022-23 Steamboat Springs School District Educator of the Year. 

Colleagues, parents and students nominate Educator of the Year nominees in each building for the Steamboat School District. Staff selects their building-level Educator of the Year, and the building-level winners are then interviewed for the district-wide Educator of the Year. 

The following staff members were named building-level Educators of the Year: 

  • Soda Creek Elementary — Julie Herman, SpEd paraprofessional  
  • Strawberry Park Elementary — Desiree Wilcox, kindergarten teacher
  • Sleeping Giant School — Karen Draper, assistant principal 
  • Steamboat Springs High School — Chuck Rosemond, SpEd teacher 

“This year’s class of educators is outstanding,” SSSD Superintendent Celine Wicks said in a news release. “Each of the building-level Educators of the Year has their unique way of leaving a positive impact on their students, and collectively they help to make our schools truly special.” 

Bryant has been at Steamboat Middle School for over 15 years and an educator for more than 30 and is a master at his craft of educating students in building life skills through hands-on learning experiences. He is said to challenge students to work outside their comfort zone through experiential learning opportunities that allow them to craft various projects such as cutting boards, tic-tac-toe boards, gumball machines, ski racks and Adirondack chairs. 

An expert in teaching industrial arts, Bryant differentiates his instruction in a progressive way, beginning with simple projects in sixth grade and advancing to more challenging and technical projects.

For his eighth-grade students, Bryant has them pitch a project they want to build, and they vote on it as a class. Sometimes it takes a few days to reach a consensus, but the end result is a project the students are proud of and motivated to build.

“We get to try something new and out of our comfort zone and have fun with it,” one of his students said in the news release. “I felt accomplished when I completed my project.”

Bryant’s ability to engage students in the classroom is often described as “magical.” He is a master facilitator who prioritizes safety and believes everyone has a role to play. Bryant expects a level of personal responsibility when using tools safely and holds students accountable for respectful and safe behavior. 

Bryant connects with students uniquely and treats them all as individuals who are valued. He is said to build positive relationships in the hallways and through his leadership in coaching wrestling and track. He requires his athletes to be committed and disciplined to achieve success.

“I’ve gained insight into how kids tick and how they work,” Bryant said. “The more connections you can make with students outside the classroom, the better.”

Bryant has coached nearly every sport at Steamboat Springs Middle School, including wrestling, and was a representative on the School Accountability Committee this year. He is also an electives teacher who sees students mature and grow throughout middle school and has the unique perspective of supporting students from sixth to eighth grade. 

This year, Steamboat Springs Middle School needed a track coach, and Bryant stepped up after some of the track athletes begged him to coach the field events. 

“While teaching alongside Travis Bryant for the past 15 years, it is evident that he is an incredible educator who deserves to be the Steamboat Springs Middle School Educator of the Year,” said Chris Adams, a physical education teacher at SSMS who nominated Bryant. “The impact he imparts on students and athletes lasts well beyond their middle school years, and he is an irreplaceable teacher in our school.”

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