It’s back to work for Idaho school administrators

Idaho First Lady Lori Otter, a former school librarian, is scheduled to speak at the annual Idaho Association of School Administrators conference next week to talk about — as you might have guessed — libraries.

The Idaho Association of Elementary School Principals asked the first lady to lead a discussion on the importance of vibrant elementary school libraries. This event is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday, and is part of the IASA’s annual conference, running Monday through Wednesday at the Boise Centre.

More than 130 elementary principals are expected to listen to Otter and the breakout session’s other presenter, Debu Majumdar.

“In the age of technology, there is still nothing like getting a child excited about a book,” said Jeanne Johnson, the president of the IAESP and principal at Cloverdale Elementary School in Idaho Falls. “The library should be the hub and heart of an elementary school.”

Majumdar is a physicist and was a senior scientific adviser with the U.S. Department of Energy and has represented the United States at the Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. He will speak about the three books he wrote after he retired and each of his books will be given to the principals to take back to their libraries.

“He’s absolutely brilliant,” Johnson said. I’m so excited about this event.”

IASA conferences

More than 500 school administrators who will be in Boise for a series of conferences, networking session and meetings.

Work begins Monday through Wednesday at the Summer Leadership Conference at the Boise Centre, hosted by the Idaho Association of School Administrators.

The work continues Wednesday and Thursday when the State Department of Education hosts events for superintendents. The SDE events are focused on updates about star-rating systems, tiered licensure and Idaho Core Standards. Wednesday will be devoted to information sessions for new superintendents.

The 2014 IASA event, Gear Up for Education, features about 30 presenters, 50 vendors and 430 attendees.

“We cover a wide range of topics since administers need information on a lot of different things,” said the IASA’s Kristen Massingale. “Much of what we’ll do ties in with Idaho Core Standards.”

Experts in education and leadership will be keynote speakers and presenters. Administrators will also have time to network and share best practices.

Also part of the conference is an awards luncheon Tuesday. Here is a list of this year’s winners:

  • Superintendent of the Year: Charles Shackett, Bonneville School District.
  • Distinguished Leadership Award: Randy Schrader, Garden Valley School District.
  • Elementary Gem Award, rookie administrator: Terri Fisher, Gooding Elementary School.
  • Idaho Association of Special Education Administrators Distinguished Service Award: Karen Smucker, program director, special education: graduate studies in education, Northwest Nazarene University.
  • Outstanding Secondary Principal, Middle Level: Andy Wiseman, superintendent/principal Castleford schools.
  • Outstanding Secondary Principal, Assistant Principal: Tom Albertson, Sandpoint High School.
  • Idaho Elementary Distinguished Principal: Anna Marie Wilson, Ramsey Magnet School of Science, Coeur d’Alene.
  • Elementary Gem Award, Instructional Leadership: Lisa Pica, Hayden Meadows Elementary.
  • Outstanding Secondary Principal, High School Level: Jared Jenks, Sugar Salem High School.
  • Outstanding Special Education Administrator: Cathy Thornton, West Ada District.

IASA Distinguished Service Awards:

  • Dale Kleinert, director AdvancED.
  • Dewayne Hodges and Gayle Hodges, Rigby Idaho Lions Club.
  • Sen. John Goedde.
  • Patti O’Dell, Twin Falls School District.
  • IASA Leadership in Idaho by Friends of Education: Anna Scholes, volunteer at O’Leary Middle School, Twin Falls.
  • Education Media Award: Kevin Richert, Idaho Education News.
Jennifer Swindell

Jennifer Swindell

Managing editor and CEO Jennifer Swindell founded Idaho Education News in 2013. She has led the online news platform as it has grown in readership and engagement every year, reaching over two million pageviews a year. Jennifer has more than 35 years of experience in Idaho journalism. She also has served as a public information officer for Idaho schools and as a communication director at Boise State University. She can be reached at [email protected].

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