Return to Headlines

Scott Cowen is District Teacher of the Year

May 18, 2017 – Lowell Scott Middle School science teacher Scott Cowen was named the West Ada School District Teacher of the Year in a surprise announcement at the school last week. Under the guise of a staff meeting, school staff and district leadership gathered for the announcement and celebration with Cowen.


“Today was a big day for [my daughter]. As part of her GT science class, she was assigned to do a research project that was related to genetics. She decided since she was diagnosed 5 months ago with a genetic eye disease…that's leading her to blindness, that she'd like to do her project and presentation about this. I'm so grateful to her amazing science teacher who encouraged this and created a safe space for [her] to share with her peers about what's been going on with her and why she has accommodations,” Superintendent Dr. Mary Ann Ranells read from a parent letter to those gathered. “I am eternally indebted to Mr. Cowen for allowing [her] to go public about her condition in a nurturing and safe environment.”


Others similarly echo the story told by this parent. Fellow teacher John Cochrane wrote of Cowen in a reference letter for the Teacher of the Year application, “He shows his ability to confront difficult and complicated conditions with everything he does and says. Whether he is presenting a topic at a staff meeting or discussing with a colleague the behavior of a wayward student, Scott Cowen has a direct and clear vision of what must be done.”


Cowen strives to be an exemplary role model for his students. Through his science courses, Cowen teaches the fundamental lessons students need to be successful academics, and through the various greenhouse and garden bed projects, he demonstrates community involvement and care for nature.


“I do inquiry-based, project-based, and cornball-based learning because we do a lot of outdoor and hands-on learning while proving that work and fun are not mutually exclusive,” Cowen explained of his teaching methods. “A growth mindset requires tenaciously assessing, improvising and embracing surprises.”


Campus Teachers of the Year were celebrated at regional receptions in April and May. Below is a list of all campus winners for the 2016-2017 school year.


Campus Teachers of the Year

Andrus Elementary

Tobi Lewis

Barbara Morgan STEM Academy

Kathy Muus-Adams

Centennial High School

Christin Kaminsky

Central Academy

Tracy Poff

Chaparral Elementary

Lynne Schneider

Chief Joseph School of the Arts

Chad Schabot

Christine Donnell School of the Arts

Tammy Duthie

Crossroads Middle School

Melissa Grow

Desert Sage Elementary

Heather Smith

Discovery Elementary

Kim Davison

Eagle Academy

Julie Benton

Eagle Elementary School of the Arts

Emily Edmiston

Eagle High School

Herby Kojima

Eagle Hills Elementary

John Pattis

Eagle Middle School

Shay Ruhl

Frontier Elementary

Jill Iverson

Galileo STEM Academy

Dr. Kellie Taylor

Gateway School of Language and Culture

Judie Bradburn

Heritage Middle School

Katie Story

Hillsdale Elementary

Caryn Walters

Hunter Elementary

Mindy Parker

Idaho Fine Arts Academy

Brendan Earle

Joplin Elementary

Brandi Huggins

Lake Hazel Elementary

Heidi Beasley

Lake Hazel Middle School

Mike Cummings

Lewis and Clark Middle School

Andrea Baerwald

Lowell Scott Middle School

Scott Cowen

Mary McPherson Elementary

Linsi Jones

Meridian Academy

Jacob Chandler

Meridian Elementary

Angie McAnulty

Meridian High School

Bob Rois

Meridian Middle School

Nerissa Armstrong

Mountain View High School

Cassie Shelton

Paramount Elementary

Robyn Aguiar

Pathways Middle School

Megan Etcheson

Pepper Ridge Elementary

Amber McVey

Peregrine Elementary

Jacque Wilson

Pioneer School of the Arts

Trudi Clark-Cochrane

Ponderosa Elementary

Summer Woolston

Prospect Elementary

Shellie Harding

Renaissance High School

Karly Bryant

River Valley Elementary

Anji Mouser

Rocky Mountain High School

Erin Davidson

Sawtooth Middle School

Julie Hatcher

Seven Oaks Elementary

Jill Loupin

Siena Elementary

Jessica Dewolfe

Silver Sage Elementary

Anne Wilson

Spalding STEM Academy

Kimberly Ann Winford

Star Elementary

Jennifer Fonnesbeck

Summerwind STEM Academy

Michele Czerepinski

Ustick Elementary

Marjorie Artagame-Frasch

Victory Middle School

Caitlin Scott

Willow Creek Elementary

Kristina Drlik