Sixteen students were named Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholar Program. Those students are: Centennial High School's Rafe Anderson, Noah Rieth, Nicholas Romans and Katie Tidwell; Eagle High School's Spencer Butler, Samuel Decker and Austin Larson; Renaissance High School's Emory Christensen, Zachary Cluff, Trevor Kendrick, Ethan Simison and Lucas Viele; and Rocky Mountain High School's Carson Barningham, Connor Burback, Donald Palmer and Josh Taylor.
Fifteen students from Mountain View High School scored among the top business students nationwide on rigorous exams to test their business knowledge. The exams are part of the school's High School of Business program, a national accelerated business administration program of MBA Research and Curriculum Center. Approximately 8,000 students from across the nation participated in the program during the 2018-2019 school year. Students scored in Principles of Business: Benjamin Blodgett; Business Economics: Faith Spaulding; Principles of Management: Elijah Friedly, Warren Johnson and Preston Papa; Business Strategies: Elijah Friedly, Carson Smith and Warren Johnson; Leadership: Kaylee Oehlerking, Marlee Hamilton, Matthew Fry, Caleb Allen, Joel Huston and Bradford Jackson; and Wealth Management: Caleb Allen.
Eagle High School's boys soccer won the state championship.
Rocky Mountain High School's girls soccer won the state championship.
Renaissance High School senior Jaelahna Coursey was selected as a delegate for the United States Senate Youth Program, only one of two students in Idaho to earn the honor this year. In March, Jaelahna will visit Washington, D.C. and receive a $10,000 college scholarship.
Centennial High School's boys and girls cross country teams and boys swim team earned fall sports academic state championships for achieving the highest cumulative grade point averages in each classification.
Centennial High School's Katie Tidwell was nominated by State Superintendent Ybarra for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program.
Many West Ada School District CTE staff were recognized this summer at the Idaho Career Technical Education Reach Conference for their work preparing our students for life after high school. Congratulations to Stephanie Wheeler, Meridian High School business technology teacher, for receiving the Career Technical Educators of Idaho Teacher of the Year award for 2019. Congratulations to Steve Wilder, Meridian High School agricultural sciences teacher, for receiving nominations to participate on the Idaho CTE state staff as a CTE ambassador. Congratulations to Staci Low, director of CTE for West Ada School District, for being awarded the 2019 Career Technical Educations of Idaho Administrator of the Year.
Seven West Ada School District CTE teachers participated in the Idaho Career Technical Education Inspire Cohort the past two years, spending many Saturdays learning and working on projects. Throughout the course, they networked with fellow Limited Occupational Specialists in Idaho and honed their teaching methods to increase their students' understanding of career technical education. Congratulations to Lee Britt, Chuck Deem, Brandy Funk, Renee Lumley, Ariel Wood, Joe Gossi and Bill Hessing for graduating from this program and earning their Idaho Standard Occupational Specialist certification!
Rocky Mountain High School's Erin Tiderman-Gross visited Washington, D.C. this fall in order to receive her Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. These are the highest honors bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science teaching. The President may recognize up to 108 exemplary teachers each year.
The Meridian Arts Commission and Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd District awarded the district's lead teacher for music and arts, Amy Vaughan, with an Award in the Art for her relentless advocacy for art and artists in the school district.
Heather Bachman, the district's lead teacher for physical education and health, received the Distinguished Service Award from SHAPE Idaho at the group's annual state conference in October 2019.
Pioneer School of the Arts music teacher BriAnna Crook received the 2019 Professional Achievement Award from the National Association for Music Educators for being the first state student president of the Idaho Music Educators Association while in attendance of Boise State University.
Brittany Brings, director of bands at Centennial High School, is a quarterfinalist for the 2020 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.
Jessica Krahn received the 2019 Idaho Council for Exceptional Children Para-Educator Excellence Award.
Mary McPherson Elementary School Principal Shannon Murdoch was one of four educators in Idaho selected for the Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching by Boise State University's College of Education. The award recognizes K-12 educators making a difference in the lives of students through their passion and caring. Each of the award winners receives $2,000 and their school receives $500.
Eagle High School speech teacher Herby Kojima was recognized nationally as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert in the month of November.
Last spring, Joplin Elementary Schools fifth-grade robot builders team, the Galaxy Vexxers, won a state award for Elementary Excellence, first place overall in elementary, and the Design Award for best design overall for elementary and middle school teams. They were the first Idaho team to compete at the VEX IQ World Championships hosted in Kentucky.
Ustick Elementary School is one of two schools in Idaho receiving No Kid Hungry's Breakfast After the Bell grant.
Chief Joseph School of the Arts was named a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School.
The renovation of Renaissance High School's second story, auditorium and weight room space received first place in the Idaho Business Review 2019 Idaho Top Projects. To be considered for this compeititon, projects must be built in Idaho, be substantially completed in 2018, and valued at more than $1 million in construction costs. Hummel Architects, Musgrove Engineering and Engineered Structures, Inc. were the district's building partners on this project.
West Ada School District earned the 2019-2020 Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International for excellent budget presentation. The district has participated in the program for 19 years, a reflection of the district's commitment to fiscal integrity.