With the school year winding down, the Townsquare Media Teacher of the Month Award has taken us around Grand Junction and from Fruita to Palisade.

The last Teacher of the Month award for the 2018-2019 school year goes to Mr. Chris Philliou, a 5th-grade teacher at Taylor Elementary School in Palisade. He was nominated for the award and then received the most votes in online voting.

Mr. Philliou has been in education since 1995, coming to Mesa County School District 51 in 2003, and arriving at Taylor Elementary in 2014.

When asked what compels him to be a teacher, Mr. Philliou responded:

My answer is "life."  I believe that through teaching I can be a conduit for a better world.  A world where we respect and understand each other better.  A world where "life" is honored in all its forms.

I also asked him what the best thing is about Taylor Elementary.

The best thing about Taylor is what Taylor represents.  Taylor, like many schools in the valley, is about family.  We are part of the community and the community is part of us.  We have a staff and a principal who uphold and honor the essence of childhood.

Thanks to our amazing sponsors, we were able to present three baskets of gifts to Mr. Philliou in front of the entire student body and staff at Taylor Elementary.

  • $50 gift card to Village Inn
  • $50 Visa gift card from Farmers Insurance the Josh DeWitt Agency
  • $20 Starbucks Gift Card and an insulated tumbler from Carville's Automart
  • 1-hour massage from Rimrock Wellness
  • Fresh fruit bouquet from Willy's Wild Carvings
  • Skating party for 30 at Spin City with a pizza party from the Garlic Knot
  • $50 Visa Gift Card from Brigette Targett with Targett and Associates Insurance Solutions
  • Teacher of the Month Plaque from Impact Promotional Products

Mr. Philliou said he wanted to thank the radio station, his family and friends, co-workers and "most of all the children who inspire me."

It's been a real privilege for Townsquare Media to recognize some of the Grand Valley's outstanding teachers and we look forward to honoring more of them when school resumes this fall.