State testing chief moves to STEM post

(UPDATED, 4:45 p.m., with comment from Ybarra.)

One of state superintendent Sherri Ybarra’s top staffers is moving over to head Gov. Butch Otter’s STEM education initiative.

Angela Hemingway
Angela Hemingway

Angela Hemingway on Tuesday was named executive director of a state action center designed to promote and coordinate Idaho’s efforts in the “STEM” academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math.

The STEM action center was created by the 2015 Legislature and is housed under Otter’s office. The center’s governing board met for the first time in July.

“Working with industry, government, educators and students, the center will help link Idaho’s pockets of STEM excellence, develop new resources and support high-quality teacher professional development opportunities,” Hemingway said Tuesday. “This work is critical to fostering a STEM educated work force to ensure Idaho’s economic prosperity.”

Hemingway had been Ybarra’s director of assessment and accountability. Prior to that, she had taught advanced placement and accelerated science classes in Boise and Kuna.

As assessment director, Hemingway had been Ybarra’s point person on the new statewide assessments, aligned to Idaho Core Standards. This is the first year student growth and school performance will be measured by the controversial Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests, better known as SBAC.

“We are pleased with the time that Angela spent at the department, and the work that she put into implementing and supporting the statewide assessment,” Ybarra said Tuesday. “In an effort to support school districts with the release of assessment results, we will be looking to fill this position in the near future.”

Hemingway will begin her new job Aug. 17 at an annual salary of $110,000, Otter spokesman Jon Hanian said. She had made $78,686 a year in her position at the State Department of Education.

Here’s the Otter news release:

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced the appointment today of Angela Hemingway as the executive director of the newly created Idaho Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics Action Center.
 
“Angela’s track record of turning innovative ideas for STEM education into reality will help ensure that the STEM Action Center gets off to a great start,” Gov. Otter said. “Her enthusiasm for education, knowledge of STEM programs and experience partnering with industry are an ideal fit for this position.”
 
Hemingway is currently the director of assessment and accountability for Idaho’s State Department of Education. Prior to joining the department, Hemingway was a classroom teacher in the Boise and Kuna school districts where she taught accelerated and advanced placement biology, advanced chemistry and advanced placement statistics/research. She has been recognized as the Idaho Biology Teacher of the Year, Kuna School District Educator of the Year, Idaho Grange Teacher of the Year, Secondary Science Teacher of the Year and Idaho STEM Teacher of the Year. Hemingway earned a bachelor’s of science in biology and chemistry with a minor in economics from Boise State University (BSU) and a master’s degree in biology with emphasis in microbiology from BSU.
 
“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve as the first executive director for Idaho’s STEM Action Center,” said Hemingway. “Working with industry, government, educators and students, the center will help link Idaho’s pockets of STEM excellence, develop new resources and support high-quality teacher professional development opportunities. This work is critical to fostering a STEM educated work force to ensure Idaho’s economic prosperity.”
 
The STEM Action Center was created by the 2015 Legislature to coordinate and maximize STEM-related programs and activities to strengthen Idaho’s K-career STEM pipeline, providing Idahoans with more employment opportunities in STEM fields. The center’s board of directors met for the first time on July 20 and elected Dr. David Hill as chair. The board will meet again in late August.