Education news around Idaho

Grangeville teen named semifinalist in Military Child of the Year contest

John “Jack” Kennedy, a sophomore at Grangeville High School, has been nominated as a semifinalists in the competition for the 2018 Military Child of the Year Award. Jack was selected from 400 nominations and is one of 95 semifinalist. He is a son of a retired Coast Guard commander.

Jack Kennedy

Each Military Child of the Year Award semifinalist will be interviewed by a panel selected by Operation Homefront, a nonprofit serving America’s military families.  Award recipients will be chosen by a panel of judges, to include senior retired service members, senior spouses, members of Operation Homefront’s board of directors, and other leaders in the military support community. Thirty-five finalists will be selected in February.

Six Military Child of the Year Award winners between the ages of 8 and 18, representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard will receive $10,000 each. They will be selected based on their scholarship, volunteerism, leadership and extracurricular involvement.

The seventh award, which is open to teens ages 13 to 18, is the Military Child of the Year Award for Innovation. The winner of this award shows the power of innovative thinking.

Jack aspires to be an astronomer. He plays basketball, baseball and is part of the Knowledge Bowl Team at Grangeville High School.

Idaho STEM Action Center a finalist for $1 million

The Idaho STEM Action Center is a finalist in the US2020 STEM Coalition Challenge, a competition for communities across the country to develop cross-sector partnerships to bring hands-on STEM mentoring and maker-centered learning to underrepresented students.

The Idaho STEM Action Center will move forward to compete for $1 million in resources to implement strategies, representing some of the most innovative approaches to tackling the opportunity gap through STEM.

“One of our goals we listed in our STEM Coalition Challenge application was to create a platform that can connect the most rural and remote parts of our state with mentors from both industry and post-secondary education,” said Angela Hemingway, executive director of the Idaho STEM Action Center.

The challenge received 92 applications from 82 communities across 35 states, representing more than 1,800 nonprofits, companies, school districts and local government partners.

“Many kids step away from STEM in middle school because it can be challenging, but if they leave the STEM pipeline they many never come back, leaving gaps in our future workforce,” Hemingway said.

Finalists were evaluated based on their potential for impact, approach to partnership building, creative engagement strategies and sustainability planning. Finalists will gather on Jan. 31 for the STEM Collaboratory, a two-day workshop in Pittsburgh, Penn., where STEM experts and creative community builders will join them.

Winners will be announced in Spring 2018. The $1 million in total prize value will be shared across eight winners and is comprised of financial, consulting, and staff support.

Clark Fork High sends 500 pounds of school supplies to Houston school

After what started as an idea to help students and teachers in Houston where hurricane Harvey displaced thousands and destroyed schools turned into a community effort to collect and send school supplies to a Houston Elementary School. Clark Fork High School students, elementary kids and the community donated 500 pounds of school supplies including rulers, backpacks, paper, pencils, crayons, Kleenex, scissors and binders.


“It was a crazy idea and we pulled it together,” said KC MacDonald, a teacher at Clark Fork High School. “The students were very invested.”

MacDonald and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars unit helped transport the school supplies in a U-Haul from Idaho to Texas. It took 11 days to drive the supplies to Jessup Elementary in Houston.

State Department of Education to host open house

State superintendent Sherri Ybarra and her colleagues are welcoming the public to the Statehouse on Monday, Jan. 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first floor rotunda to showcase the State Department of Education programs and initiatives.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to show lawmakers, and the people they represent, the return on their investment and what we’re doing to help schools and students throughout the state succeed,” Ybarra said.

Displays will highlight initiatives and legislative priorities, from keeping teachers in the state, to eliminating bullying, mastery-based education, rural school support and meeting broadband and wireless needs in schools.

The open house will be located at the Idaho State Capitol, 700 W. Jefferson St., Boise.


Andrew Reed

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