McMurry named adjunct faculty of year for Buena Vista 

By Stefanie Kilts

[BUENA VISTA] – Every year, each of Colorado Mountain College’s seven campuses, as well as the college’s department of online learning, can nominate adjunct and full-time instructors for a faculty of the year award.

Colorado Mountain College’s center in Buena Vista recently honored a lifelong teacher with an adjunct faculty of the year award.

Fred McMurry has taught as an adjunct instructor at CMC for 20 years. In addition, he just retired this fall from more than two decades of teaching at several area high schools.

At Colorado Mountain College McMurry teaches mathematics courses, including intermediate and college algebra, statistics and trigonometry.

“I try to help my students get over their anxiety of mathematics,” he said. “I don’t go too fast but not too slow. I make it challenging but not challenging enough that they fall off the cliff.”

McMurry has lived in Buena Vista for 25 years and taught at Chaffee County High School, Buena Vista High School and most recently, Lake County High School. On the high school level, McMurry taught math, special education, wood shop and auto shop. The variety always made it interesting, he said.

While working at the high school full time, he said he usually taught three CMC night classes per semester. He said he liked the diversity of his students, from high school students to men and women in their 40s and 50s.

“They’re all my kids,” he said, laughing.

“Student success is Fred’s main priority,” said Jody Latchaw, program and student services coordinator at Colorado Mountain College in Buena Vista. “Fred takes a very difficult subject, college math, and makes it understandable and interesting to students.  He makes the classes fun and engaging, and students speak fondly of him years after they have taken courses with him.”

“It’s a really great mix of students who come to CMC,” McMurry said. “They’re motivated to learn. I just really enjoy it.”

Other local faculty who were honored this year were Trey Shelton, who lives in Chaffee County and teaches at the college’s campus in Leadville, and Cooper Mallozzi, who also teaches in Leadville.