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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Timberlake teacher honored as Employee of the Month

In the last presentation of the Outstanding School Employee of the Month for the 2003-04 school year, Timberlake Jr./Sr. High school math teacher John Hartz was honored in an all-school assembly June 3.

Hartz was nominated by freshman Stella Walker, who had him as a teacher in the seventh and eighth grades. In her essay, Walker said that Hartz helped her to get her grades up and stay in focus in class. She also spoke of how inspirational he is as a basketball coach. She suggested that if “you haven’t met Mr. Hartz … it’ll be worth it in the end.”

Hartz blinked from the sidelines and said “this is a surprise” as Walker read her complete essay out loud.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed here,” Hartz said to the assembly. “I really do appreciate it, Stella. I’m very happy with the year.”

Walker said she didn’t expect to do well in advanced math, and she didn’t think she would like the class since Hartz was a new teacher at Timberlake that year. Now, math is her favorite subject, and she wishes she still had him for a teacher. She has gone back to him for help, and he has been more than accommodating.

Completing his third year at Timberlake, the 33-year-old Hartz previously taught at Mountain Home High School, in Mountain Home, Idaho, for six years. He was also an elementary school P.E. teacher for one year. He said he’s received coaching awards before, but this is his first for teaching.

He will return to Timberlake next year.

“As a teacher, I’m happy if I can influence a kid in a positive way,” Hartz said.

The “Outstanding School Employee of the Month” is sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Teachers’ Credit Union, Horace Mann Insurance and Parker Toyota. In addition to a plaque and a gift basket that Hartz received at the assembly, his name will be displayed on the Parker Toyota reader board. Walker received $10 for her essay.

The program will resume in the fall.

Siblings going to national competition

Home-schooled brother and sister, 12-year-old Jordan and 13-year-old Joel Schaefer, of Kidd Island Bay, Coeur d’Alene, are on their way to the University of Maryland for a national competition this month after winning the regional Idaho History Day competition for their age group in Boise this past April.

The theme was “Exploration, Encounter and Exchange in History.” Their project was a dramatic performance entitled “Off the Map and Into the Unknown — A Journey of Discovery Seen through the Eyes and Hearts of Capt. William Clark and Sacagawea.” With the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition this year, Joel said he knew there couldn’t be a better subject. The entire Schaefer family followed the Lewis and Clark trail through Montana and Idaho, and Joel and Jordan read some 30 adult-level history books on the expedition. Their bibliography for their project is more than 30 pages long.

Their 10-minute performance features Joel portraying Clark, and Jordan in the role of Sacagawea. Their costumes also were accurate, with help from Snake River Traders, which donated the labor for Joel’s period army uniform.

The national competition begins Sunday and continues through June 17.

Lakeland Students of the Month

Lakeland High School has announced their May Students of the Month.

Senior Andy Kifer, enjoys football, basketball, baseball, hunting, fishing and camping. He will attend Lewis-Clark State College and study kinesiology.

Junior Brittany Markowski, enjoys dancing, teaching dance, camping and snowboarding. She was recently named Lakeland’s Junior Miss. She plans to attend the University of California and study choreography.

Sophomore Abby Cederblom, enjoys softball, riding horses, 4-H and participating on a horse drill team. She plans to attend college to become either an equine vet technician or an interior designer.

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