Jefferson Elementary School in Pocatello was awarded a $1,000 contribution as the first place winner of the Making a Difference contest, which was sponsored by the IEA through the Idaho Public Teachers awareness campaign. Online entries detailing why specific Idaho public schools needed and deserved this award were accepted during the summer and fall, and Jefferson teacher Michelle Rogers’ entry was selected as the winner. Her entry requested that the funds be used for items such as school supplies, I-pad apps, and equipment for physical education, art and music. “We try to exhaust every option available in order to help our students succeed and beat the odds they are given based on circumstance,” Rogers said.
Because so many compelling entries were received on behalf of schools around the state, the IEA elected to recognize four other schools with second place awards of $500 each. “We know that education resources can be scarce in Idaho, and we hope these contributions will provide some measure of assistance to our great public schools and professional educators,” said IEA president Penni Cyr. The second place winners were:
- Highland Elementary School, Craigmont. The winning entry was submitted by parent Kristen Wright, who requested that the money go to “the Highlands special education department to ensure quality education for my children as well as the other amazing children in our area”.
- Mullan Trail Elementary School, Post Falls. There were multiple entries on behalf of this school, including parent Michelle Garrett, who shared the growth experiences of her children over the last nine years and said that “with this prize the school can continue doing what it does best—put our kids first and ensure that Mullan Trail Elementary is maintaining momentum in preparing our children for their continued education”.
- Borah High School, Boise. Teacher Pamela Atkins submitted the winning entry, which praised a program called “Lions’ Den” that keeps the school library open after school so that students have a safe and productive environment for doing homework. She noted that Borah HS has a large refugee student population and that more than 40 different languages are spoken at the school.
- Desert Springs Elementary, Vallivue. Librarian/Media Specialist Katie Wiese submitted this entry highlighting the school’s Lunch Bunch Book Club and other efforts to make sure that kids (especially in low income neighborhoods) have access to reading materials.
The Idaho Public Teachers: Dedicated to the Ones We Love initiative featured advertisements on radio and television stations around the state, as well on a variety of websites, showcasing the compelling stories of Idaho’s amazing public school teachers. The website also features some terrific videos and a variety of resources about public school teachers and public education. Learn more at: