Colorado Springs teacher wins 'National Educator of the Year' for speech and debate

March 9, 2017 Updated: March 9, 2017 at 9:26 am

Air Academy High School English teacher Renee Motter has been named “2017 National Educator of the Year” by the National Speech & Debate Association.

Motter was selected from more than 5,000 member coaches and teachers, because of her “unwavering commitment to speech and debate education."

She has been a teacher for 21 years and is the head Forensics, Speech and Debate coach at Air Academy in Academy School District 20. She also serves as the district chair for the Colorado Grande Southern Colorado District for the National Forensics League.

The association’s executive director, J. Scott Wunn, said Motter has dedicated her life to speech and debate and helping students and coaches succeed.

“I’m honored to recognize her years of hard work, dedication and passion for speech and debate,” he said in a statement.

She also provides well-known workshops to educators and community members demonstrating how speech and debate builds 21st century skills. She further shares her experience and expertise by creating lesson plans and writing curriculum.

Motter is a two-diamond coach, co-chair of the curriculum committee, a member of the NSDA National Education Conference planning committee, and has served as chair of the Colorado Grande District for 11 years.

Recently, she was awarded the NSDA’s District Chair of the Year Award and the Colorado High School Association’s Sharon Wilch Lifetime Achievement Award.

“She gives freely and willingly to all members of the organization to ensure best practice methods in teaching research, speaking, listening, and writing,” said Don Crabtree, NSDA board president.

Along with her many formal job titles, Renee is a mentor to many students and coaches alike.

“She is an innovator who thinks outside of the box,” said Wunn. “Her contributions to not only the speech and debate community, but all educators, is immeasurable.”

Renee was awarded the National Educator of the Year Award on March 3, which is recognized as National Speech and Debate Education Day.

She also will be a keynote speaker at the NSDA National Education Conference in August.

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