Miss Koch, was nominated by students in last year's class. They told us that she was a special teacher, who inspired them.
One student, Megan Myers told us, "Miss Koch not only inspired us to reach our potential as students, but as people and leaders."
Molly Kubesh said, "We always felt comfortable talking to her and asking her for help."
According to Lindsey Haligas, "Miss Koch challenged our ability and helped us accomplish really difficult goals."
And Allyson Goto told us, "Miss Koch is probably the most inspiring, caring and determined teacher that any of us have ever had and probably will ever have."
One of the things that made that class special was its community service project. They were encouraged by their teacher to work with senior citizens at two nursing homes. It was also an economics lesson, learning how the recession had affected the seniors.
The students spent time volunteering, raised more than $4,000 for the nursing homes, made friends and forged bonds. Their project received national recognition, winning an award and a $50,000 grant for a trip to Washington D.C. They got to meet with Colorado lawmakers, visited historic sites and learned many of life's lessons outside of the classroom.
"These kids are our future and I don't just say that lightly," Miss Koch said. "They are at a very unique age where they want responsibility. They're learning how to deal with responsibility. So I gave it to them and they ran with it. And they accomplished some really great things."
While she says she's very greatful for everything that happened with last year's class, Miss Koch is now focused on the future. She spends a lot of time working with her current students one-on-one in and outside of class. She plans to take some of them to China next summer for another great learning experience.
She stresses to them that they can acomplish amazing things if they put their minds to it and do their best. And she says she always tries to do her best too.
"The kids need the best," she said. "They need the best education, they need the best teachers, they need the best support right now, especially in middle school. And I feel like I have to give them the best."
It's just another reason Tristin Koch deserves to be honored as the October "9Teachers Who Care" winner.
(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)