Education news briefs from around Idaho

Seniors Philip H. Cathers of Borah High School and Aurora G. Cossairt of Centennial High School have been named as Idaho’s Presidential Scholars.

The recognition was made by the U.S. Department of Education’s Commission on Presidential Scholars and is based on both high academic achievement and involvement in school and community activities.  Cathers and Cossairt will be invited to the National Recognition Program in Washington, D.C., in June.

During their expense-paid trip to the National Recognition Program in Washington, D.C., the students will be guests of the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. They will meet with government officials, educators and other accomplished people. They and the other scholars from across the nation will be awarded medallions honoring their achievement during a ceremony at the White House on June 19.

One young man and one young woman are chosen each year as Presidential Scholars, representing each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Americans living abroad. In addition, 15 students are selected at large, 20 are chosen for demonstrating exceptional ability talent in the visual and performing arts, and 20 have been named to receive the prestigious honor by demonstrating ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

The Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of President Lyndon Johnson. It was designed to honor the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.  Approximately 4,000 student candidates are selected from the 3.3 million seniors each year for consideration as Presidential Scholars. Most are automatically considered based on having scored exceptionally well on the SAT or ACT college entrance exams.

A complete list of the 2016 scholars may be found on the commission website.

Idaho teams place in mock trial championship

Meridian’s The Ambrose School and Moscow’s Logos School placed sixth and seventh place out of 46 teams at the National High School Mock Trial Championships earlier this month. Nearly 600 students from across the United States, South Korea, Northern Mariana Islands and Guam gathered in Boise to participate in simulated courtroom and action.

Ambrose
The Ambrose School mock trial team.

The national winner was a team from Iowa’s Home School Assistance Program.

Vallivue paraprofessional honored for dedication

Dave Lyman, a paraprofessional at Lakevue Elementary School, was awarded the Edythe Crowe ESP of the Year award by the Idaho Education Association (IEA).

The award is given to a member of the IEA who demonstrates outstanding accomplishments and reflects the contributions of education support professionals to public education.

Lyman works in the extended resource room with moderate to serve special needs students in grades K-5.

“I consider my students my own grandkids,” Lyman said.

Dave Lyman

After working for the Coast Guard for nearly 20 years, Lyman decided to change careers and work in education. He is going onto his eighth year in the classroom.

“I love my job,” Lyman said. “As long as it’s fun, I will keep coming back.”

Idaho students shine at National Invention Convention

Young inventors from Idaho won six major awards at the National Invention Convention in Washington, D.C., last week. The event was hosted by the US Patent Office and Trademark Office. Nearly 240 young inventors in grades 3-12 from 21 states participated. The event recognized Idaho students for their innovations through the Invent Idaho invention program. One third of the 18 Idaho attendees placed at the event.

Idaho Winners

  • Corrine Pixton, a fourth-grader from Boise won two awards for her “Mow Safe” invention: Second place for all fourth grade inventions and the Government/Safety Award.
  • Joshua McKenna, a sixth-grader from Rathdrum won the prestigious “Best Poster” display award for his “Porta Potty Survival Kit” invention. This clever display was in the shape of a porta potty mounted on a turntable, so that all sides containing information about his invention could be viewed easily.
  • Evelyn Hollis, a fifth-grader from Meridian won the Community and Societal Benefits Award for her invention “The Learning Pod”, which would help the homeless gain educational skills.
  • Zachary Linford, a third-grader from Coeur d’ Alene won the Environmental Award for his invention “The Hawksbill Hatchling Helper”, which is designed to assist endangered baby turtles to find their way to the ocean.
  • Pragathi Durga Rajarajan, a sixth-grader from Boise earned the highly-coveted Jules Verne Award for her “Tornado Catcher” invention, which would cause tornadoes to dissipate. The Jules Verne award is for highly theoretical and futuristic invention ideas.

Babies born Sunday to get college savings accounts

The first mothers to give birth on Sunday — 5/29 — at each of five participating Idaho hospitals will be presented with $529 in IDeal 529 College Savings plan accounts as part of a statewide and national campaign to encourage saving for college.

IDeal is a state-sponsored college savings program and a tool to help make higher education attainable for more Idaho families. (529 is the IRS tax code for college savings plans).

The participating hospitals are Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, West Valley Medical Center, St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center, Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.