Shane Anderson’s spirit, kindness and enthusiasm could be matched by very few people. Her students at Middleton Middle School benefited most from her passion for teaching, but her commitment to her colleagues, the Idaho Education Association and public education left an indelible mark on everyone fortunate enough to share time with her. The Shane Anderson Outstanding Member Award was created to honor IEA members who share Shane’s spirit and passion for public education and the work of the Idaho Education Association.
Rexburg Education Association
Nominated by: Lisie Smith
Melanie Hammond first became an Idaho Education Association member as a student while attending BYU-Idaho and spent little time embracing the association as new teacher 2007. Since then, her fierce commitment to her colleagues in the Rexburg Education Association, her advocacy for public education and her students, and her commitment to every facet of the association’s work has only grown with each passing year.
She became a building representative in 2010 and quickly moved on to become of a member of REA’s bargaining team. Then came a role as treasurer of her local and two terms as co-president. Today, she serves as president of IEA’s Region 6.
“Melanie stood up for teachers when (former) state Rep. Ron Nate made the public statement that teachers are paid too much,” wrote Lisie Smith, who nominated Hammond IEA’s Shane Anderson Outstanding Member Award. “Melanie stepped up to let the press know that many teachers work two jobs as well as are mothers and fathers.”
Hammond has been a vocal critic of vouchers and gotten engaged to elect pro-education policymakers, including organizing a phone bank to support Brad Little’s first campaign for governor in 2018.
“Melanie brought REA members to phone bank, as well her 16-year-old son Jayson,” Smith wrote. “She wanted her son to understand the work it took to elect officials who support public education.”
Hammond’s work across the region includes supporting IEA’s SPARKS and Ignite programs and being a supporter of its Political Action Committee for Education or PACE and the IEA Children’s Fund.
“Melanie’s commitment and passion for public education has taken her to the Idaho Capitol numerous times to speak on behalf of all educators,” Smith wrote. In one such episode, Hammond testified in favor an increase in educator pay by sharing her personal story as an educator and mother of 10 holding down a second job due to inadequate pay for veteran teachers. “Her dedication as a member has inspired others to engage and support the IEA’s legislative agenda.”