Education news briefs: West Ada students to build tiny houses for Idaho veterans

By building homes for Idaho veterans in need, West Ada construction students will be learning new skills and bettering their communities.

“I’m so excited for the project we’re doing in construction next year,” said Giselle Amador, junior at Mountain View High School. “These tiny homes will be so helpful for those who need them and will give them a safe place to stay.” 

The project will start at the beginning of next school year and will operate out of Owyhee High School. The goal is for construction trade students to build one to two tiny homes a year, for up to six years. Once each tiny home has been built, it will be transported to a location determined by the housing committee and be provided at no cost to a local veteran. 

“Not only will this project give the students the required standards in the construction trade classroom, but it will also give them a sense of giving back to the community. I think it’s something we all feel a great sense of pride in,” said Matthew Lucas, a construction trade instructor. 

The project is part of a partnership between the West Ada School District Career and Technical Education construction trade and the Idaho Veterans Chamber of Commerce, which will provide supplies for the project.

To make a donation to the project, visit The most needed items include building supplies, trailers and land options. To learn more about the Tiny Homes project, visit or contact Niki Scheppers at [email protected]. 

Timberline academic team advances to national science bowl

A team of students from Timberline High School won the regional competition of the National Science Bowl (NSB) and will compete in the finals in Washington, D.C. at the end of April.

The NSB draws in more than 14,000 middle and high school students annually and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The format is trivia-based with questions about STEM subjects.

Timberline was represented at the regional competition by an A-Team and a B-Team, both comprised of students in their sophomore, junior and senior years. The A-Team won the regional championship and will compete at the national level. The B-Team lost in the elimination rounds at regionals.

Members of the Timberline A Team are:

  • Luke Bousfield
  • Pierre Lehn
  • Jessica Rice
  • Vishal Suresh
  • Joseph Thomson

Members of the B Team are:

  • Blessy Bellamkonda
  • Austin Giffen
  • Elena Li
  • Stephanie Liu
  • Jalen Lu
  • Jacob Meyer
  • Kathy Nie
  • Corrine Pixton
  • Towako Tomano

Eight Idaho athletes to compete at national swimming event

Eight student swimmers from local middle and high schools are on their way to represent Idaho for the 100th Annual 2023 YMCA National Short Course Swimming Championship in North Carolina this week. Under the leadership and coaching of Todd and Vicki Marsh, the athletes hope to make their mark on the national stage against 1,200 swimmers.

The “Mighty Eight” from the Boise team include: 

  • Santina Hunt, 13, East Jr. High
  • Francesca Hunt, 15, East Jr. High School
  • Tyler Quarterman, 17, Boise High School
  • Jasper Shue, 15, Boise High School
  • Milo Shue, 18, Boise High School
  • Blake Ediss, 18, Boise High School
  • Gaby Stanton, 17, Bishop Kelly High School
  • Ellie McFarland, 18, Timberline High School

 “The Treasure Valley Family YMCA is proud to send this exceptional collection of athletes to represent Idaho at the National Swimming Championship,” said David Duro, president and CEO of the Treasure Valley Family YMCA.

The YMCA Swim Team is a year-round, competitive swimming program for ages six and older held at Treasure Valley Family YMCA locations.

Scentsy Foundation donates $32,000 toward outstanding lunch balances

The Scentsy Family Foundation presented the West Ada School District’s School Nutrition Services department with a $32,000 check. The donation is to be put toward uncollected student lunch balances for the 2022-23 school year. Throughout the past six months, Scentsy committed to donating a portion of sales to causes that focus on children, families, and communities. The West Ada uncollected student lunch balance was identified by the Scentsy Family Foundation as a recipient. 

“We’re grateful that West Ada is continuing to provide lunches regardless of a child’s ability to pay. We believe happy, healthy families build vibrant communities, and we want to help ensure that hungry children have access to at least one meal during the day,” said Kellie Floto, Scentsy Director of Philanthropy and Community Relations. 

To mitigate any future outstanding balances, parents are urged to apply for free or reduced meals. Applications for free or reduced meals must be completed annually — parents and guardians can begin applying for free or reduced meals in August 2023. If a parent or guardian has any questions about their student’s lunch balance, or would like to donate leftover funds from a previous school year, call 208-855-4575. 

Teacher nominations being accepted for Public Television program

Idaho Public Television needs your help identifying a tech-savvy, innovative and collaborative teacher to honor as their next Digital Innovator. Whether you’re a fellow teacher, a school administrator, a parent or a student, nominate your favorite classroom educator to be the next IdahoPTV Digital Innovator. 

The IdahoPTV Digital Innovator program recognizes Idaho teachers who enhance learning by integrating technology or digital media into their classrooms. Each spring IdahoPTV selects one Idaho K-12 educator to serve as Digital Innovator for the following school year.

Do you know an educator who is pushing the boundaries of teaching to better engage their students and enhance learning by integrating technology or digital media into their classroom? Do you know a teacher who is passionate, bold, and innovative? A classroom change-maker? If so, nominate that teacher before the April 28 deadline. For details on the contest, visit

Idaho EdNews Staff

Idaho EdNews Staff

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