Idaho Teacher of the Year
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 state education leaders and lawmakers. The Idaho Teacher of the Year serves as Idaho’s nominee for the National Teacher of the Year program, a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers.
This year, we are excited to announce a new nomination process. If you know a teacher who inspires students to achieve, innovates in the classroom, and goes beyond the call of duty to help our students persevere in life and prepare for their future, please fill out the simple nomination form below. We will contact nominated teachers and invite them to apply for Teacher of the Year.
2020 Teacher of the Year - Stacie Lawler
Stacie Lawler, Timberlake Junior High School’s health and physical education teacher and a champion for mental health, is Idaho’s Teacher of the Year for 2020.
Lawler is a passionate and innovative educator, respected by her peers and community members for her involvement and leadership in programs supporting mental health for students. She actively advocates in her community for suicide prevention awareness and providing resources to help students, school staff and parents deal with difficult situations.
“A great teacher focuses on the whole child, and Stacie Lawler is a phenomenal teacher,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “Her students don’t just learn the subject matter, they learn about themselves, gaining the insight, confidence, and resilience they’ll need to overcome obstacles and succeed in school and beyond.”
Superintendent Ybarra and Gov. Brad Little surprised her with the Teacher of the Year honor in September 2019. As Idaho’s top teacher for 2020, Lawler serves as a spokesperson and representative for Idaho educators and as Idaho’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year.
Lawler has taught in the Lakeland Joint School District for 11 years, starting as a physical education teacher at Twin Lakes Elementary, where she designed and delivered a new curriculum for K-6 physical education. She did the same for grades 7-8 curriculum at Timberlake Junior High, where she has taught health and physical education since 2014. Earlier in her career, she taught in Idaho’s Vallivue and Wilder School districts.
Lawler said her key mission and message as Idaho Teacher of the Year will be to combat the stigma surrounding mental health. She helped launch a community coalition to talk about suicide and helped establish an education program that brought in outside experts to teach school employees how to deal with difficult situations. She also co-wrote the application that brought an SDE-administered Sources of Strength grant to Timberlake, training students to use, in her words, “the power of peer social networks to change the school culture and ultimately prevent suicide.”
“We must teach our children that it is OK to talk about not being OK,” she said. “What if we had a child tell us they were thinking of killing themselves and we knew what to do about it?”
“She is the most thorough, professional, hard-working, diligent and amazing educator I know,” Timberlake Principal Chris McDougall said. “Her passion for raising the bar in everything she does is truly seen in her classroom. Students grow in exponential ways across the board in Stacie’s classes.”
As Idaho's Teacher of the Year, Stacie Lawler 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 Stacie Lawler!