The Idaho Teacher of the Year Program, which began in 1959, is one of the most prestigious honors in the state for teachers. The program focuses public attention on excellence in teaching that has a real impact on the students of Idaho.
The Idaho Teacher of the Year is chosen from among district nominees by a selection committee representing the state education leaders and lawmakers. Each school district and charter school may nominate one teacher. School districts should submit the nominations to the State Department of Education before the end of the school year.
The Idaho Teacher of the Year also becomes a nominee for the National Teacher of the Year, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers that is sponsored by Scholastic Inc.
2017 Teacher of the Year - Mary Lynn Spiker
As a teacher with twenty-four years’ experience, the past nine being a Kindergarten teacher in the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District, Mary Spiker first decided she wanted to become a teacher at the young age of six, when she first felt a great sense of pride and accomplishment upon being asked to read in front of the class.
Years later, her dream became her passion and her life. She found teaching provided a platform which utilized many of her strengths, such as: organization, creativity, problem-solving, communication, relationship building, data interpreting, child development and a love for children. Teaching challenged her to view issues from different perspectives and to be in constant learner mode.
She teaches and models acceptance, kindness, respect, high expectations for all, and the value of truly celebrating one another.
Ms. Spiker feels her greatest contributions are in her ability to establish meaningful relationships with students, their families and peers. These relationships allow her to create a culture that celebrates diversity.
As Idaho's Teacher of the Year, Ms. Spiker will:
- Receive $1,000 from the State;
- Travel across Idaho talking with other teachers, legislators, and policymakers about education in our state;
- Travel to Washington, DC in the spring to meet Teachers of the Year from other states and the President of the United States; and,
- Serve as Idaho's nominee for National Teacher of the Year.
Congratulations Mary Lynn Spiker!