Year Honored: 2008Captain Elementary School
At the time of the Award, Trisha Brennan was:TAP Master Teacher
Discovery Canyon Campus
Colorado Springs, CO
As a master teacher under the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP)™ at Discovery Canyon Campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Trisha Brennan helps her colleagues improve their teaching while modeling exceptional instructional practices in her own third-grade classroom. Brennan engages her students in inquiry-based learning, challenging them to raise questions and research answers throughout any given unit. She also differentiates instruction based on each student's level of comprehension to maximize academic growth for all students. Her efforts helped 92 percent of third-grade students score proficient or advanced in reading on the 2007 Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) test, with 90 percent scoring proficient or advanced in math and 85 percent in writing. As a TAP master teacher, Brennan researches instructional best practices, field-tests them in her own classroom and shares results and strategies with her teacher cluster at weekly staff development meetings. She also observes teachers in their classrooms, supporting their use of effective strategies through team-teaching, modeling and feedback. Brennan serves as the school's literacy coordinator for grades preK-5 and provides instructional support for the school's upper-grade-level teachers as well. She was previously a fourth-grade teacher at Ross Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri, where she implemented a successful character education program for which she also helped secure grant funding. Brennan served as a TAP mentor teacher during her first year at Discovery Canyon, and was promoted to master teacher the following year.