Education news from around Idaho

West Ada teachers nominated for Presidential award

BOISE — Three Idaho science and math teachers have been nominated for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Sue Darden, Lynnea Shafter and Heidi Bond — all elementary teachers from the West Ada School District — will be be recognized during an awards banquet at Timberline High School tonight.

The three teachers will also advance to a national competition later this year, where one science and one math teacher from each state will be named winners.

Here’s a brief description of each teacher:

Sue Darden is a sixth-grade math and world civilizations teacher at Galileo STEM Academy in the West Ada School District.

She sees herself as providing the foundation for the students to pursue a science, technology, engineer and mathematics (STEM) future.

“The students of today have to be able to solve problems that we can’t even envision yet,” Darden said. “My goal is to give them strategies to use in a fun, yet challenging, environment.”

Lynnea Shafter is a K-5 STEM specialist at Barbara Morgan STEM Academy, a job she’s held for three years. Before that, she spent eight years teaching eighth-grade physical science in the West Ada School District.

“I teach because I know what a difference it can make in our world,” Lynnea said. “After almost 20 years I have evolved in our craft from someone who ‘taught’ by giving information, to one who guides and strategically questions her students to help them explore their world and find the paths for which they are passionate.”

Heidi Bond has taught second-grade in the West Ada School District for eight years and currently is at Spalding STEM Academy.

“The greatest honor of all though, is being able to spend each day in a classroom full of students who are eager to learn,” Bond said. “Teaching science enables me to provide engaging opportunities for students to connect with the curriculum, ask questions and draw conclusions based on authentic learning experiences.”

Districts sponsor student college fair in East Idaho

IDAHO FALLS — Representatives from more than 40 colleges and universities will gather to provide East Idaho students with information about postsecondary education later this month.

The annual Southeast Idaho College Fair has been scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 19, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Skyline High School in Idaho Falls.Idaho Falls School District

According to Skyline college and career advisor Linda Birkinbine, college representatives from Idaho, Washington, Utah, Montana and Wyoming will provide information to students during the event.

Secondary students and their parents are encouraged to attend. During the event, the Idaho Falls School District will also host a breakout session on ways to finance a college education and other college preparation tips.

Beauty school, massage therapy and the military representatives will also be present.

Further questions? Send them to the Idaho Falls School District by clicking here.

 West Ada elementary school wins grant for STEM curriculum

Desert Sage Elementary School was rewarded a $7,500 grant to promote STEM education and engage students in hands-on activities that reflect real-world problem solving. The grant was a donation from RedBuilt, a Boise-based engineered wood products company.

Desert Sage, in the West Ada School District, will work with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) to implement the organization’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum for its students.

“The demand for STEM knowledge and skills is not going away — it’s getting stronger,” said Lisa Hahle, principal of Desert Sage. “It’s absolutely wonderful to be able to introduce our students to this lifetime learning pathway and help them develop the skills they will need to succeed in the future.”

Funds from the grant will cover annual program fees, teacher professional development, and classroom equipment and materials.

For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit or contact Jennifer Cahill, PLTW senior director of media and public relations, at [email protected].

Boise teacher wins $10,000 national award

A STEM coordinator at Garfield Elementary will receive a $10,000 award for her contributions to education.

Sonia Galaviz is among five teachers from across the country who will receive the NEA Foundation’s Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence in early 2017.

On Thursday, she was recognized with a crystal owl, which award winners receive for the outstanding work and achievement in teaching.

She was also surprised with a celebration from the National Education Association (NEA) foundation.

Galaviz will travel to Washington, D.C. in February to officially receive the award and money at the NEA Foundation Gala.

Idaho EdNews Staff

Idaho EdNews Staff

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