CDA teacher receives top state honor

In just five years, Jamie Esler has graduated from Coeur d’Alene’s rookie teacher of the year to Coeur d’Alene’s teacher of the year to the state’s teacher of the year.

Esler, a Lake City High School science teacher, was honored Friday.

And in accepting the honor at a Friday morning ceremony, Esler extended a challenge to his students.

Jamie Esler

Jamie Esler of Lake City High School, who was named Idaho teacher of the year on Friday.

“We can teach until we’re blue in the face. We can give things back to you on time. We can give you the best lessons we have got, but ultimately, your success is up to you. Keep that in mind.”

Esler was selected by a statewide panel, in part, for working to show students the practical applications of science, and for embracing technology in the classroom.

“(Esler) recognizes that students in the 21st century know technology and use it every day,” the State Department of Education said in announcing the award. “But as a teacher, he emphasizes that students must learn to use technology responsibly. He shows students how technology can be used to address many environmental and scientific challenges we are facing in the world today, such as access to clean drinking water or the development of renewable energy sources.”

Said state superintendent Tom Luna, “Even though he is young in his career, Esler has been recognized as an outstanding teacher because he strives every day to make sure his students are not only learning about science but learning to how to apply those concepts in the real world.”

As teacher of the year, Esler receives a check for $1,000, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., and will represent Idaho as its national teacher of the year nominee.

More reading: Here’s a link to our profile of last year’s teacher of the year honoree, Katie Pemberton of Coeur d’Alene’s Canfield Middle School.