Idaho Education Association members are pleased to congratulate one of our own – Stefani Cook – who was named the 2011 Idaho Teacher of the Year today. The surprise announcement came in an assembly at Rigby High School, where she teaches business education and advises the student council.
As Idaho Teacher of the Year, Cook will receive $1,000 from the Idaho State Department of Education, $16,000 in technology from the SMARTer Kids Foundation, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Idaho as a nominee for the National Teacher of the Year. At Monday's event, Cook thanked all her students and the faculty at Rigby High for the roles they have played throughout her career.
IEA President Sherri Wood, who helped review the nominations, noted that Cook wrote about always wanting to be a teacher and her deep commitment to the profession. “As I have spent countless hours reflecting upon my own educational experiences, I realize that the common factor all of these great educators had in common is passion,” Cook noted. “Recognizing this, I try to find passion each and every day in my teaching—passion for the curriculum, passion for my students, and passion for this great profession that I get to be a part of each and every day.”
Wood added: “I believe Stefani’s words reflect what all Idaho educators believe as they walk into their classrooms each and every day. Congratulations Stefani and thanks for all you do for the children of Rigby!”
“Stefani Cook represents great teachers all across Idaho. She was selected as Idaho’s Teacher of the Year for her unending passion to raise student achievement, constant innovation in the classroom, and strong will to continue to improve the craft of teaching,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said in presenting the award. He added that Cook has embraced new technologies and is using them to engage her students in the classroom.
According to the State Department of Education website, the Idaho Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the districts' nominees by a selection committee representing the state education leaders and lawmakers. Each school district and charter school may nominate one teacher. For more information on the Teacher of the Year program and a list of past winners since 1959, click here.