Schomp Honda’s 2020 Teacher of the Year Contest Ends on a High Note

October 8th, 2020 by


Cathy Wahl, Band and Orchestra Director at Ken Caryl Middle School, has won the “Schomp Honda 2020 Teacher of the Year Award.” She came out on top of a field of five finalists with a total of 20,589 votes.

Besides a prestigious title and bragging rights as “Schomp Honda  2020 Teacher of the Year,” Wahl receives a three-year lease of a new Honda Passport, including complimentary maintenance plus a $5,000 cash donation to an educational program or nonprofit of her choice. 


Five Finalists

Five Teacher of the Year finalists were nominated during February and March. outstanding Pre-K through 12th grade educators nominated by their peers, students and parents from these metro-area school districts and private schools:

  • Public school districts: Cherry Creek, Douglas County, Englewood, Jefferson County, Littleton and Sheridan
  • Private schools: Cherry Hills Christian, Mullen High School, Regis Jesuit High School, and Valor Christian High School 

Hundreds of nominations were received, including 800 for Wahl, alone. Each nomination was reviewed by a committee comprised of education and civic leaders, and members of the Schomp Honda team. The committee narrowed the field to five finalists:

  • Cathy Wahl – Ken Caryl Middle School
  • Misty Durante – Sand Creek Elementary School
  • Susanne Petri – Rock Canyon High School
  • David Bell – Chatfield High School
  • Robert Calbeck – Heritage High School


Finalists provided a short bio and a video about themselves, which were posted online. The final vote was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The contest opened for online voting from September 11th through September 28th


This is the first year for the Schomp Honda Teacher of the Year Award, following last fall’s successful Schomp Honda Coach of the Year Award. “We were excited that we got so many nominations for Teacher of the Year. This was an outstanding field of educators, evident by the number of supporters who took the time to vote for them,” said Schomp Automotive Group’s CEO Aaron Wallace. “The Schomp Automotive Group has a long history of supporting children and education because they are the future of our society.”


Meet Our Winner

Cathy Wahl has been Band and Orchestra Director at Ken Caryl Middle School – a Jefferson County public school – for 12 years. She has grown the school’s instrumental music program from 70 students to more than 320, and has led her students to consistently superior ratings at music festivals throughout Colorado. She has served as both state chair and regional representative for the American Band School Band Directors Association and plays in the Regis University Wind Ensemble. Wahl earned her Bachelor of Education and Master of Music degrees from the University of Arkansas. Besides music, she enjoys skiing, whitewater rafting and kayaking and loves rescue animals. 

Wahl is an inspiration to the many students that she’s taught, instilling in them the love of music and the concept that “Music is for Life.”  


About Schomp Spark – Our Philanthropic Effort

Schomp Honda’s “Teacher of the Year” and “Coach of the Year” awards are part of the overall Schomp Spark philanthropic effort by the Schomp Automotive Group that seeks to sustain and support the communities in which its dealerships are located. Schomp Spark’s focus is on children’s issues, particularly in the areas of education and wellness. 

Schomp Honda is part of the Schomp Automotive Group, a family-owned and operated business with six automotive dealerships located in Aurora and Highlands Ranch: Schomp Honda, Schomp BMW, Schomp MINI, Schomp Subaru, Schomp Mazda and Schomp Hyundai. The group also includes two dealerships in the Salt Lake City, Utah, area: Mercedes-Benz of Farmington and Porsche Salt Lake City

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