The 2022 Honorees were honored as part of a 2023 Celebration. Click here to view photos from the event. 

Here are the 2022 Faculty and Staff Honorees

Having received a BA from Colorado College, an MA from Colorado University, and an MAT from Beloit College, I was hired by Air Academy High School in the fall of 1979. In the early years, I coached track and boys golf and later organized the first girls’ golf team.  I taught United States history and psychology and  a few kids laughed at my jokes.  In the fall of 1985, Sue Badgett transferred from the junior high to Air Academy High.  Sue and I went on our first date in January 1986, and I’ve  been the happiest man alive for the last 37 years.  I want to thank Air Academy High School for providing me with a great career, great friends, a great family and a great retirement. 


Mike was born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado.  He attended Pueblo South High School from 1959 to 1962.  Mike lettered in football, basketball and baseball while attending Pueblo South.  After graduating from Pueblo South, he accepted a scholarship to attend Pueblo Junior College and Southern Colorado State University (CSU-Pueblo).  Mike played basketball for the legendary coach Harry Simmons.

After graduating in 1966, Mike began his teaching and coaching career in Academy School District Twenty.  From 1966 to 1969, he taught physical education and coached football and basketball at Air Academy Junior High.  In 1969, Mike moved to Air Academy High School and taught biology, physiology, health and physical education.  Mike coached football, boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, and boys’ golf.  Mike became Assistant Principal/Athletic Director in the 1982-1983 school year.  Mike received his Master’s Degree from Adams State College in 1970 and his Administrative Certificate from Denver University in 1983.  

Mike served on the Board of Control for the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) and was a member of several committees for CHSAA.  In 1983, Mike was named Teacher of the Year by the AAHS Student Council.  In 2004, Mike was inducted into The Greater Pueblo Sports Association.  Mike retired in 1999 after serving Academy School District Twenty for 33 years. 

Barb taught all levels of mathematics at Air Academy High School.  She was particularly fond of teaching freshmen and sophomores.  Barb was a caring teacher who loved taking kids with math anxiety and making mathematics an enjoyable experience.  Barb always said she treated each student like they were her own child.  

Larry Perkins was the Air Academy Junior High band director for four years beginning in 1957 and the Air Academy High School band director for eighteen years.  During his 22 years as band director his program was recognized as one of the top 100 music education programs in the nation.  From 1986 thru 1997 Larry served as the Coordinator of Informational Services for Academy School District Twenty.  After Larry retired he spent his time writing a two volume history of Academy School District Twenty.

My entire 32 year coaching and teaching career was at Air Academy High.  During my time as a Kadet, I taught civics/law, geography, and United States history.  I especially enjoyed the many years of instructing Honors U.S. history where I focused on project-based learning.  I loved the creativity that my students would come up with when learning about a particular topic and I also enjoyed getting into character of some famous historical figures.  In particular it was fun dressing up like Theodore Roosevelt during the Progressive Movement.  One of the best parts of teaching was when my daughter Alli joined the faculty at AAHS as a Spanish teacher.  It was a good thing as she was able to teach her old dad some new tricks with technology.  Coaching allowed me to get to know my students more closely.  I started coaching boys and girls soccer and was fortunate to be a part of a couple of state championships.  Then I moved on to coaching boys’ and girls’ basketball and eventually track and field.  I have so many fond memories of the athletes and teams that I coached.  In particular I was able to be a part of the 2012 girl’s state basketball championship.  My daughter Kellyn was the starting point guard which made that season extra special.  I am so thankful to have been a part of the history of Air Academy High School.  I was so blessed to have taught and coached with such a caring and talented group of people.

In 1973, at the age of 23, I walked through the doors of Air Academy High School.  Teaching Spanish was my dream, and here it was about to begin.

Working with students was both exhilarating and challenging.  Besides the drills, quizzes, testing, I promised my students we would learn together and laugh together.  Bonds were quickly formed.  I remember questions and conversations after viewing the tragedy of 9/11 on live TV, and discussions about gun violence after Columbine. When students left my class, I knew for certain that they were not only learning to speak another language but also valuable life lessons.

Over the years I wanted to be more involved.  So . . . Joan Marsh and I traveled to Mexico with students during Spring Break.  I became a Freshman Class Sponsor and later a Senior Class Sponsor.  I helped Marty Slayden start a chapter of Spanish National Honor Society and worked with Glenn Hoit and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Then yet another opportunity arose and I began coaching boys and girls’ tennis teams for several years.  And more memories. . . who can forget watching Rodney Zimmerman and his teammates scoring another 100 points in basketball while students and teachers alike broke out singing “Another one bites the dust!”

In 2003, I walked out those doors for the last time.  As I drove away, a phrase popped into my head.  “If you love your job, you will never work a day in your life.”  At that moment I realized, for the past 30 years, I never had. 


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