IEA Recognizes Idaho’s Top Education Advocates

Last weekend, Idaho Education Association recognized ten public education advocates and fellow IEA members for their extraordinary service to public education or the association.

During a Saturday ceremony at IEA’s 130th Delegate Assembly in Boise, IEA President Layne McInelly presented the annual awards before an audience of nearly 370 IEA members gathered for the annual organizational meeting. The awards focus on key areas of IEA’s advocacy for Idaho students, educators and public education, including strong relationships with policymakers, parents and the community.

“Many, many people share in the hard work of protecting and improving public education in Idaho, but efforts of some truly shine bright,” McInelly said. “IEA’s annual awards are for those people — IEA members and others — who go above and beyond in their advocacy for public education.”


Here’s a quick rundown of the recipient of each award:


Idaho Rep. Julie Yamamoto (R-Caldwell)

Champion of Education


Michael and Kolane Gilbert of Caldwell

Friend of Education


Karen Lauritzen – Post Falls Education Association and Idaho Teacher of the Year

Marsha Nakamura Award for Teaching Excellence


Amber Ford – Vallivue Education Association

Betty Roper Public Relations Award


Marta Hernandez – Cassia County Education Association

Membership Recruiter Award


Melanie Hammond – Rexburg Education Association

Shane Anderson Outstanding Member Award


Joel Williams – Fruitland Education Association

Larry Caldwell Member Advocacy Award


Sterling Blackwell – Fruitland Education Association

Sue Hovey Mentoring Award


Richard “Dick” Chilcote – Southwest Idaho Education Association – Retired

Monica Beaudoin Retired Member Award

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