Ybarra offers support to administrators and principals

State superintendent Sherri Ybarra offered a message of support Thursday to hundreds of school administrators at a Boise conference.

Ybarra addressed the Idaho Association of School Administrators conference over lunch, and participated in an awards ceremony honoring principals, educators and superintendents.

“You are very supported on this journey in your role as administrators or in education, whatever it is that you do, whether you are new to the business or a veteran,” Ybarra said. “There are many times you could use some assistance, and I would like to offer all of the support possible from myself and my 131 hard-working staff members at the State Department of Education.”

Ybarra touched on several themes and initiatives during her six-minute speech. She called on educators to participate in an online review of Idaho Core Standards in math and English language arts that will begin Aug. 12.

She also pledged to offer support to rural school districts, support additional professional development training for educators, and continue eliminating date reporting requirements and paperwork that bogs down school officials.

Dr. Geoff Thomas
Madison Superintendent Geoffrey Thomas

Finally, Ybarra told administrators the state will work to develop a new school accountability model this year that will be designed to replace the five-star ratings system that has been placed on hold during the past couple of years as Idaho transitions to new academic standards and assessments. (For more from Ybarra, click here to watch a recent Idaho Education News interview of her discussing teacher evaluations, or click here to watch her discuss the public school budget recommendations she will bring to the Legislature.)

“This is our moment as a team,” Ybarra said. “We can move together to ensure all students in Idaho achieve. This is the way that we change the culture and we begin to recognize sound practices, along with the hard work that superintendents, principals and teacher alike are doing throughout Idaho, right here in our own backyard.”

After the speech, Ybarra helped recognize educators honored by the IASA and related organizations. This year’s winners include:

  • Superintendent of the Year: Geoffrey Thomas, Madison School District. (Click here to read Idaho Ed News’ profile on Thomas).
  • District Leadership Award: Assistant Superintendent Becky Ford, Post Falls School District.
  • IAESP National Principal Award: BJ DeAustin, Rathdrum, Garwood Elementary.
  • IASSP Outstanding Secondary School Principal Award: Doug McLaren, Bonneville, Hillcrest High.
  • GEM Instructional Leadership Award: Dave Kerby, Weiser, Park Intermediate School.
  • GEM Rookie Administrator Award: Crystal Kubista, Coeur d’Alene, Ramsey Magnet School of Science.
  • GEM Distinguished Service Award, Katrina Kelly, Post Falls, Mullan Trail Elementary.
  • Outstanding Special Education Administrator: Ramona Lee, West Ada, formerly of Weiser.
  • IASEA Distinguished Service Award: Patricia Farmer, retired special educator and consultant.
  • IASA Distinguished Service Award: Marilyn Whitney, office of Gov. Butch Otter.
  • IASA Distinguished Service Award: Former Sen. Dean Cameron, recently appointed director of the Idaho Department of Insurance Award
  • L.I.F.E. Award: Debu Majumdar, Idaho Falls, for his service to children in the Idaho Falls and Bonneville school districts.
  • Education Media Award: Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune.

Clark Corbin

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