Katie Pemberton, a mathematics teacher at Canfield Middle School in Coeur d'Alene, was named the 2013 Idaho Teacher of the Year this month in a surprise announcement by Superintendent Tom Luna at her school.
Pemberton has taught for seven years and also works as an adjunct professor at Lewis-Clark State College. In 2011, she won the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Now, as Idaho Teacher of the Year, she will receive $1,000 from the Idaho State Department of Education, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., and go on to represent Idaho as a nominee for the National Teacher of the Year.
"Katie Pemberton will be a great representative of Idaho and the talented teachers we have across Idaho as our state's nominee for National Teacher of the Year," Superintendent Luna said. "Despite being young in her career, Pemberton has stood out as an excellent teacher. She doesn't shy away from working with at-risk students and is always looking for new, innovative strategies to help every child learn. For these reasons and more, Katie Pemberton was selected as Idaho's Teacher of the Year."
"Katie Pemberton is the ultimate educator," said Nick Lilyquist, Principal of Canfield Middle School. "She arrives at school every day with a positive attitude and determined to help all her students succeed in mathematics."
In her application, Pemberton said she would focus, as Idaho's Teacher of the Year, on increasing the use of technology in the classroom to improve student achievement and work to build more respect for the teaching profession by encouraging more ambitious individuals to go into teaching.
"This is the most amazing profession," Pemberton said as she accepted the award. She looked at her students and continued, "You inspire me each and every day. It's an honor to collaborate with my colleagues. We work with other teachers throughout Coeur d'Alene and the state to bring new and innovative ideas to our students."
The Idaho Teacher of the Year program began in 1959 and has become 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. Every year, school districts and charter schools across Idaho have the opportunity to nominate one teacher for the Idaho Teacher of the Year. A state selection committee representing teachers, education leaders, parents, and legislators from across the state select the Idaho Teacher of the Year from among the nominations.
To learn more about the Idaho Teacher of the Year program, visit http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/teacher_of_year/.