The teaching profession has changed drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Educators throughout Northern Colorado have had to adapt to a new way of life with remote learning.

Becky Amschwand has evolved by starting a pen pal program with her Sarah Milner Elementary School students. And now, she's been voted Northern Colorado's 2019-2020 Educator of the Year.

Amschwand, who won the Townsquare Media Teacher Tuesday contest in April, had the most votes among all of the contest's monthly winners.

Amschwand won a $500 check for Sarah Milner Elementary provided by the University of Northern Colorado and UNC Extended Campus. She also takes home a collection prizes, including a Date Night Dinner for two from Windsor Mill Tavern (includes 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 1 dessert, 1 bottle of wine) and a free oil change from Ozzie's Body Shop.

Here's how she adapted during the COVID 19 pandemic:

Everything has changed! I felt early on that I needed to put my relationship with my students and families at the forefront. I have been writing them all little notes and encouraging them to write me back, telling them all that we can be penpals now! I have called all of my students and chatted with them on the phone and reached out to all of my families. This switch to at-home learning has been tough on us all, and I am trying to coach my families through it, encouraging them to take it slow, not to overwhelm themselves or their children. Every day we get a little better at it than we were the day before-baby steps!

Last year, Lyn Karnes of Rice Elementary won the inaugural Teacher of the Year contest for 2018-19.

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