Meridian teacher hobnobs with U.S. education secretary

Meridian — Micah Lauer, a life science teacher at Heritage Middle School, joined the national teacher of the year, state teachers of the year and other educators earlier this month at the White House for an event marking National Teacher Appreciation Day.

Lauer was nominated to attend the event by the National Writing Project, who deemed him to be a “great educator” for the work he’s done with the project and the Boise State University Writing Project.

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“It was an exciting day to say I got to hang out in the White House for a few hours,” Lauer said. “I got the chance to walk through the different rooms throughout the house.”

The highlight of the trip was meeting with U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr.

“I spoke with King about Idaho teachers and how they are working hard to help each other in professional development,” Lauer said.

Lauer spoke to King about the upcoming work that teachers are doing for the new science standards.

“I told King we are working to meet the needs of the teachers,” Lauer said. “King was excited to hear that teachers are helping teachers.”

During the event, President Obama thanked the teachers and honored Jahana Hayes of Connecticut as the National Teacher of the Year.

“I appreciated Obama’s remarks regarding his values towards education,” Lauer said. “His speech really affirmed me on the things I’m working on in the classroom.”

Lauer grew up in Nampa and graduated from Bishop Kelly High School. He has been teaching for 13 years.

“Micah never settles for good, he’s always striving to be a better teacher,” said Susan McInerney, the principal at Heritage Middle School. “He’s passionate at everything he does.”

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Turns out, Lauer’s big moment nearly didn’t happen when the White House email invitation got lost in his inbox.

“I had missed the original email and didn’t know about the event until the National Writing Project asked if I received an email from the White House,” Lauer said. “For the life of me the email wasn’t in junk or deleted. I still can’t figure out what folder it went to.”