Education news from around Idaho

Caleb and Emma Wiese, winners of the IEA Friend of Education award.

IEA announces annual award winners for 2021

The Idaho Education Association announced its annual award recipients during the 2021 Delegate Assembly, which was held virtually. Here are the winners:

Peggy Hoy, Twin Falls: Marsha Nakamura Award for teaching excellence. The winner of this annual award also becomes a candidate for the NEA Foundation’s Award for teaching excellence. Hoy is a 30-year veteran, works as an instructional coach in the Twin Falls School District. She has represented the IEA on the Governor’s Education Task Force and the Governor’s COVID-19 Council.

Tama Meyer, Coeur d’Alene: Shane Anderson Outstanding Member Award. Recently retired, Meyer has been a dedicated educator and contributor to the Association at the state and local levels. She served on both the Professional Standards Commission and the state’s ethics committee. Meyer has advocated for the IEA Children’s Fund, which provides resources for students and families in need.

Kathy Neufeld, Caldwell: Larry Caldwell Advocacy Award. After noticing that many of her virtual students did not have an adequate workspace, Nuefeld initiated and led an effort to build desks for them. Working with corporate and community partners, the group built and distributed more than 300 desks for students.

Sue Wade, Twin Falls: Sue Hovey Mentoring Award. Wade advocated for instructional coaches to play a role in professional development for all first and second year teachers. She also helped develop the University of Idaho’s first program of support for teachers seeking National Board certification.

Caleb and Emma Wiese: Friend of Education Award. Nine-year-old twin children of IEA members Katie and Rick Wiese, Caleb and Emma have coordinated fundraisers for the last four years in place of birthday gifts. This year, they have raised more than 500 pounds of food for the food pantry at their own school, Sage Valley Middle School. In previous years their efforts have benefited the Idaho Food Bank, Comfort Cares, the Humane Society, St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House.

Six high-achieving Idaho students named Presidential Scholar semifinalists

Six Idaho seniors have been selected as semifinalists for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program.

The semifinalists, selected from 65 candidates from across the state, are:

  • Maria Jose Aguiar, Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy
  • Korbin Aydin Hansen, Timberline High
  • Katherine E. Hebdon, Skyview High
  • Jaston B. McClure, Moscow High
  • Oam Patel, Mountain Home High
  • Elena Yang, Centennial High

Finalists will be announced in May. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors who score exceptionally well on either the SAT or the ACT of the American College Testing Program.

Application period open for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grants

Idaho elementary schools have until May 21 to apply to participate in the USDA’s Fresh Fruitland and Vegetable Program, through the Child Nutrition Programs of the State Department of Education.

“This program increases Idaho students’ consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, introducing healthy snack options for schoolchildren throughout the state,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said in a news release.

During the 2020-21 school year, 118 Idaho schools received the grants. To be eligible, schools must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an elementary school (eligible students in grades one through six)
  • Operate the National School Lunch Program
  • Have more than 50 percent of their enrolled students eligible for free/reduced-price meals in school year 2019-2020
  • Submit a complete application, including a signed Certification of Support

Selected Idaho elementary schools will be awarded grants to administer the FFVP from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. Schools are awarded $50 to $75 per student for the school year to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables for the program. All grant awards are contingent upon available USDA funds.

For more information on Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program requirements or for a copy of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant Application, visit the SDE Grant Opportunities page or call Child Nutrition Programs at (208)332-6820.

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