A Canon City teacher is the first recipient of the Classroom Chieftain Caring Teacher Award in recognition of his longtime participation in the Classroom Chieftain as well as his dedication to the development of his students.
Mike Geesaman has taught drafting and design at the school for 43 years.
As leader of the American Digital Design Association program at Canon City High School, Geesaman has steered hundreds of students toward successful careers in design related fields. “This STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program combines math and science course requirements with three semesters of Computer Aid Design (CAD) course work to gain an additional honors certification at graduation,” Geesaman said. “We also offer 6 hours of dual college credit through CSU-Pueblo. I have had the awesome opportunity to work with some of the most talented students you could imagine. Teaching has been a very rewarding career which is the main reason I continue to work after normal retirement age.”
For 25 years, Geesaman has made the Classroom Chieftain a part of his curriculum, encouraging students to use their design skills to submit cover and advertising pieces for possible inclusion.
He said the experience has been beneficial and rewarding for the youngsters. “Having a chance for our students to develop ad designs and cover pages to the specifications of the contest is a real world exercise in meeting requirements put forward by a client,” Geesaman said. “The ad sponsors or purchasers are our clients and each student is trying to catch their attention and be selected for publication.”
Although he majored in industrial engineering in college, Geesaman developed a love for teaching and children by helping his future wife, a 1st grade-teacher, with a unit about tools. “After being around those kids and talking with her I was hooked,” Geesaman said. “I began to develop a calling to work with students. That was 45 years ago.”
We congratulate Mr. Geesaman on being our first recipient and thank him for his continued support of the Classroom Chieftain.