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Idaho honors math teacher

Sacajawea Junior High School teacher Kelli Smith, of Lewiston, was named the Idaho Teacher of the Year on Tuesday, selected from more than 15,000 teachers.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Sacajawea Junior High School teacher Kelli Smith, of Lewiston, was named the Idaho Teacher of the Year on Tuesday, selected from more than 15,000 teachers. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

She’ll represent state at the national level

A Lewiston junior high school teacher was named Idaho’s 2010 teacher of the year, the state Department of Education announced Tuesday.

Kelli Smith, a math teacher at Sacajawea Junior High School, will receive about $20,000 in cash and donated gifts and will represent Idaho in the National Teacher of the Year contest, an Education Department news release said.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said Smith works to improve student achievement by illustrating the “real-life applications” of their classroom lessons.

Smith will receive $1,000 from the Department of Education, $16,000 in technology equipment, software and training from the SMARTer Kids Foundation and other gifts.

The Idaho Teacher of the Year program began in 1959.

School districts and charter schools can nominate one teacher for the program annually, with the winner chosen by a selection committee representing teachers, education leaders, parents and legislators.



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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.