Student Accomplishments

  • Renaissance High School student, and Rocky Mountain High School baseball player, Gabriel Hughes won a $10,000 grant for the Caldwell YMCA during the summer of 2018. He used his platform as Gatorade Idaho Baseball Player of the Year to write the grant through Gatorade's Play It Forward program. 

    Makena Walsh and Principal Shana Hawkins Makena Walsh represented Renaissance High School and Idaho at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Boston, Massachusetts this past summer. She received her Award of Excellence from the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists following the experience.

    Mountain View High School student Carson Smith was named a top-scoring student in the country in the topics of Principles of Finance and Principles of Marketing through the High School of Business Program.

    Fifteen students earned National Merit Scholar Semifinalist recognition. Representing Centennial High School were Calvin Arstein, Puja Batchu, Sarrah Belhadj, John Chen, Michael Min and John Shleh; Eagle High School were Rachel Liu and Maureen Oneale; Meridian High School was Barrett Fuller; Mountain View High School were Peyton Badger and Carson Smith; and Renaissance High School were Ian Clifford, Jessica East, Black Magnuson and Tucker Uriarte.

    Eagle High School senior Olivia Love earned entrance into the United States Senate Youth Program in March where she will receive a $10,000 college scholarship.

    Twelve students were named Idaho's Presidential Scholar Program candidates. Those students were Peyton Badger, Puja Batchu, Sarrah Belhadj, Brendan Bundy, John Chen, Barrett Fuller, Kara Hunter, Rachel Liu, Blake Magnuson, Michael Min, Ashton O'Connor and John Shieh.

    Lake Hazel Elementary School's gifted and talented program sent 10 students to the Invent Idaho competition and five came home with awards. Elliot Schafer won first-place for Games and Gadgets, Clair Wendler won third-place for Games and Gadgets, Logan Webb won Best in Category for Games and Gadgets, Daniel Yang won second-place for Non-Working Models and Karley Allen won third-place for Working Models. Carter Wallgren received an invitation to University of Idaho's Engineer Expo.

    Fourteen students earned National Merit Scholar Finalist recogntion. Those students were Centennial's Calvin Arstein, Puja Batchu, Sarrah Belhadj, John Chen, Michael Min and John Shleh; Eagle High School's Rachel Liu and Maureen Oneale; Meridian High School's Barrett Fuller; Mountain View High School's Peyton Badger; and Renaissance High School's Ian Clifford, Jessica East, Black Magnuson and Tucker Uriarte.

    Cindy Do, of Renaissance High School, is the Idaho recipient of the 2019 Billy Michal Student Leadership Award for her leadership and volunteerism by the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. She will receive this award at a celebration in New Orleans this June. Cindy Do with Billy Michal

    Centennial High School's John Chen will receive the Presidential Scholar Medallion at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this June. John is one of two students from Idaho recognized with this award in 2019.

    Gatorade Player of the Year announced the following students as 2018-2019 winners: Mountain View High School's Lexy Halladay for Girls Track and Field and Darian White for Girls Basketball; and Rocky Mountain High School's Kristian Quiros for Boys Soccer, Kaylan Walker for Softball, and Gabe Hughes for Baseball.

Staff Accomplishments

  • Lynnea Shafter and Sue Darden in Washington, D. C. Sue Darden of Galileo STEM Academy and Lynnea Shafter of Barbara Morgan STEM Academy received Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. They celebrated with fellow recipients in Washington, D. C. in the summer of 2018.

    Heather Davis of Renaissance High School was selected for the University of Chicago's Outstanding Educator Award in September of 2018. Students nominate their teachers who influence them, challenge them, or help them along the path toward intellectual growth.

    Dr. Mary Ann Ranells was named Idaho's Superintendent of the Year by the Idaho Association of School Administrators. She was recognized by the American Association of School Administrators at their AASA National Conference on Education and was one of four finalists for the National Superintendent of the Year award.

    Salina Baldwin at Seattle Seahawks Game Dr. Kellie Taylor of Galileo STEM Academy was named a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in October of 2018.

    Lake Hazel Elementary School's secretary Salina Baldwin earned the opportunity to watch the Seattle Seahawks play in person on October 7, 2018 as the top Fuel Up to Play 60 advisor in Idaho.

    Sarah Oosterhuis, engineering teacher at Renaissance and Meridian high schools, was selected as a 2018-2019 Outstanding Teacher through Project Lead The Way.

    Lewis and Clark Middle School teacher Pat Absalonson received one of just four Boise State University Pesky Awards for Inspirational Teaching this school year. 

    The National Association of Geoscience Teachers named Spalding STEM Academy's Marc Brousseau the Outstanding Earth Science Teacher of the Year for Idaho.

    Meridian Middle School's Cari Barnes was awarded Boise State University's Idaho Counseling Association Supervisor of the Year award.

    Lowell Scott Middle School music educator John Cochrane's group, Mariachi Sol de Acapulco, received recognition in the 2018 Governor's Awards in the Arts.

    Wendy Spiers, Athletic Director at Eagle Middle School, was recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as a Certified Master Athletic Administrator. She was also given the Idaho Award of Merit for her meritorious dedication to secondary school athletes.

    Sawtooth Middle School's Julie Hatcher was selected as one of only 12 librarians throughout the United States and Canada for the Librarians Without Borders Organization's programming in Guatemala. Julie and her fellow librarians will set up and provide literacy programming for the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

    Renaissance High School's Janelle Gilson was nominated by the National History Day program in Idaho for the 2019 Hannan E. MacGregor Teacher Award. The two national winners of the prize will be announced at the NHD National Contest Awards Ceremony in early June at the University of Maryland. 

    Brittany Brings, director of bands at Centennial High School, earned the District III Music Educators Teacher of the Year award. Jonathan Gillen

    Fifty-seven classified employees of the year and 54 teachers of the year were celebrated by their campuses and colleagues at four events this spring. 

    Rebound School of Opportunity's Rhonda Schaffer was named the West Ada School District Classified Employee of the Year for 2019.

    Lewis and Clark Middle School's Rachel Ferrell was named the West Ada School District Teacher of the Year for 2019.

    West Ada School District's Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Gillen was named a 2019 Idaho Business Review Accomplished Under 40 honoree.

    Centennial High School social studies and mock trial teacher Julia DiGrazia was awarded a summer fellowship by the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University in Ohio for graduate study in U.S. government and history. As a Buchwald Summer Fellow, Julia will participate in a week-long graduate course with students enrolled in the Master of Arts in American History and Government program.

School Accomplishments

  • Seven Oaks Elementary School was named a 2018-2020 National PTA Schools of Excellence recipient. The designation recognizes the school's commitment to building an inclusive and welcoming school-community where all families contribute to enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. 

    Crossroads Middle School was named a national finalist for the 2018 Spring Kindness Challenge hosted by Middle School Kindness Challenge. Only 10 schools of 500 participating were named finalists.

    Mountain View High School named to the ESPN Honor Roll for 2018 - a list of the top 30 schools from across the country - as part of its Special Olympics Unified Champion Program.

    Three Rocky Mountain High School varsity sports teams were recognized as fall academic state champions by IHSAA. Boys soccer earned a GPA of 3.617, volleyball earned a GPA of 3.878, and boys cross country earned a GPA of 3.915.

    Rocky Mountain High School girls and boys soccer teams each won the 5A State Championship in their divisions.

    Rocky Mountain High School boys cross country won the 5A State Championship, marking the third time in so many years to earn this honor.AdvancED STEM Certified

    Barbara Morgan and Galileo STEM academies earned National STEM School of Excellence certifications through AdvancED, making them among the first schools in the state of Idaho to undergo the rigorous steps to securing this level of national STEM accreditation. 

    Rocky Mountain High School football won the 5A State Championship.

    Chief Joseph School of the Arts has been selected as one of two 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools nominees for Idaho.

    The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission Secondary Committee identified West Ada School District’s advanced culinary arts program, located in the Career and Technical Education Center - Renaissance Campus, as “Exemplary” and granted five years of accreditation to both program focuses: Secondary Culinary Arts and Secondary Baking and Pastry.

    Marzano High Reliability Schools HRS Network Level 3 Certified, 2019 Meridian Elementary School achieved Level 3 certification in Marzano High Reliability Schools - a goal only 28 others schools in the country have reached so far. 

    U.S. News and World Report ranked Renaissance High School as the #3 best high school in Idaho.

    Three high school sports teams were recognized by the Idaho High School Activities Association as 2019 Spring Academic State Champions: Eagle's baseball with a GPA of 3.605, Rocky Mountain's girls tennis with a GPA of 3.975, and Centennial's boys golf with a GPA of 3.756.

    The Idaho High School Activities Association announced Eagle High School as the 5A 2018-2019 "School of Excellence." Criteria includes achievements in the classroom, in the competitive venue, and in the areas of citizenship and sportsmanship. Eagle and Rocky Mountain high schools were noted as exemplary as they were in the top three 5A schools.