Lake City High School science teacher Jamie Esler has been named Idaho’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, the third consecutive year that a teacher from Coeur d’Alene has been selected for the honor.
State schools Superintendent Tom Luna announced the award at a surprise assembly at the high school, where students chanted “We love Esler!”
Esler told the crowd of teachers and students, “We can teach until we’re blue in the face. … We can give you the best lessons we have got, but ultimately, your success is up to you. Keep that in mind.”
He’s taught science at Lake City for five years and was named Coeur d’Alene’s Teacher of the Year in May.
Luna said, “Even though he is young in his career, Esler has been recognized as an outstanding teacher because he strives every day to make sure his students are not only learning about science but learning how to apply those concepts in the real world.”
The award brings with it a $1,000 prize from the Idaho state Department of Education, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Idaho as the nominee for National Teacher of the Year. Idaho’s Teacher of the Year also gets a chance to address state lawmakers on how education in Idaho should work.
Idaho’s Teacher of the Year program started in 1959. School districts and charter schools can each nominate one teacher. A committee of teachers, parents, legislators and other education leaders makes the selection.