2019-2020 Teacher Feature Winners

Name: Lise Pinkham

School: Idaho Falls High School

Date: October 1, 2019

Nominated by: Maren Archibald

Mrs. Pinkham is a phenomenal teacher! She cares about her students and puts so much effort into teaching. She provides extensive resources to her students and dedicates many hours outside of school to help students succeed. She is energetic, smart, and makes history enjoyable. Mrs. Pinkham lights up the school with her smile and is loved by all!












Name: Sarah Welker

School: Henry’s Fork Elementary

Date: October 8, 2019

Nominated by: Nychele Moyer

She works with special needs kids. She takes time away from her family. To stay after hours to plan for next days lessons. She loves teaching. She is an amazing mother, wife, daughter and friend. She goes above and beyond.








Name: Andrew Wilson

School: Highland High School

Date: October 15, 2019

Nominated by: NMarshall Riggall

Mr. Andrew Wilson is the Highland High School Marching Band Director. He has grown the band 25% in size, and he has turned the quality of marching band and music around 180 degrees. Highland High School has taken first place at both of their first two competitions, and expect a clean sweep for the entire season, based on judges comprehensive ratings that are double digit leads over any second place band. More than that, Mr. Wilson is much like a Father Figure and Mentor, creating community leaders out of the students under his care. He is much more concerned with who they are, who they represent, and who they have the potential to become, than the music they play today. He is an extraordinaire leader that has a compassion for the real hearts of the students, what makes them tick, what makes them want to come back everyday at 6am in the cold weather. He wants them to comprehend the lasting effects of implementing real discipline in every facet of the childrens’ lives. We are blessed to have him in our community, and in our school, caring, and sacrificing for our young men and women. He has more than put our school, and our band on the map, but he is creating generations worth of high quality community leaders. His leadership directly reflects great credit upon Southeast Idaho, The Entire Music Community, All Idaho State Educators, and the contributions his students will make as future Community and Government Leaders.

Name: Cathy Johnson

School: Rigby High School

Date: October 22, 2019

Nominated by: 39 different people. Students, staff, parents, friends 🙂

“Cathy Johnson is the teacher all teachers should aspire to be. To Cathy it’s not just a job … it’s the way she lives her life. She is kind, thoughtful, loyal, devoted, caring and many more things.” – Annette Fullmer
The list of accolades and letters goes on and on.








Name: Pam Kantack

School: Shelley High School

Date: October 29, 2019

Nominated by: Julian Paxton

Mrs. Kantack goes out of her way to help students. She is super nice and really chill. She willingly helps students when they need it, and she puts lots of time and effort into extracurricular activities such as BPA. She is an all around amazing person and a wonderful teacher. Shelley is lucky to have her.









Name: Matt Harris

School: Ririe High School

Date: November 14, 2019

Nominated by: Sam Huffaker

He has taught me a lot of good things. He teaches Web Design and Marketing. He has taught me in a way that is clear in most of his lessons. The lesson that wasn’t as clear he went back and revised it so that it would be a way that we could understand it. He does a great job teaching and is always striving to help the students learn. He is committed to helping the students and tries to structure the lessons in a way that is very learnable. He takes trickier concepts and finds great ways to teach them. He helps the students out if they don’t understand something and helps all his students to learn and improve. He does a great job at teaching his classes and I am glad to nominate him for the Classy 97 Teacher Feature.





Name: Carrie Ford

School: White Pine Charter School

Date: November 19, 2019

Nominated by: Kristi Smith

I have been so impressed with Mrs. Ford this year. Not only does she handle a whole room of 7 & 8 year olds flawlessly, but she also is fighting cancer, and goes to radiation treatments every week! You would be amazed if you met her. She has such a positive outlook and is the most caring/loving teacher I have ever had the privilege of knowing. She loves reading to her students and rewarding them every chance she gets. Please please please consider her for this award. She teaches in a smaller charter school but I know she impacts every one of her students for the better. She is definitely “a teacher to feature”. Thanks!





Name: Patricia King

School: Arco Elementary School

Date: November 26, 2019

Nominated by: Corinna Henry

Ms. King has been the most thoughtful, caring, and determined teacher that I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. She teaches Idaho History to 4th graders in a way that is both interesting and fun. She has a ” monetary” reward system in her class that is beyond brilliant. She has also worked with another 4th grade teacher to organize an annual Veteran’s Day recognition luncheon and program that is outstanding. She sends invitations out to Veterans in our community and pairs them with a student escort. Ms. King always sets the bar high and helps her students to reach it. She teaches from her heart and is always there to encourage and motivate her students. She was my sons teacher 8 years ago, and still keeps in touch with him. She is a fine example of a teacher who deserves recognition for all of her hard work that goes on- sometimes behind the scenes. Teachers don’t just work while they are in the classroom, and I am sure that Ms.King puts in more hours than we can ever imagine. This teacher is dear to me and a huge asset to our little community that often goes unnoticed. Ms. King has devoted many, many years to improving the lives of our children.


Name: Pamela Fleischmann

School: Highland High School

Date: December 3, 2019

Nominated by: Ashley Hobbs

I am nominating Miss. Fleischmann because she is the best teacher I have ever had. She really connects with students and listens to and understands them. She makes sure we know the material before we move on and always gives us chances to ask questions. She encourages me to be a better student and helps me along the way as well as others.








Name: Heather Kaufman

School: Teton Middle School

Date: December 10, 2019

Nominated by: Landon Kaufman

Mrs. Kaufman is the 8th grade team leader at Teton Middle School in Driggs, Idaho. She has taught at the school for 15 years as an 8th grade math teacher.
Over the years she has had a huge influence on many students. To this day, she still has former students come her and say “ you were my favorite teacher” or “ I wish you were teaching at the high school”. Some of her students have even stated that did not like math, but when they had her as a teacher, they finally came to like and understand math. She would tell you that her goal is for kids not hate math, but to understand it and know that they can do it. She has been known to tutor kids at home in here spare time, at the request of parents. Many parents have told us that their child now likes and understands math because she took the time to make sure that they understand it. She is someone that truly loves what she does, and cares deeply about the success of the students.


Name: Lauren Carpenter

School: Mountain View Elementary School

Date: December 17, 2019

Nominated by: Olivia Sweat

She has been teaching students for over 15 years now. She loves the students and loves seeing the change from the beginning of the year to the end. Since it is a smaller school she has had multiple groups of siblings. “Hi Mrs. Carpenter!” They always say when they see her around town or at family functions. She is always going above and beyond what she is required to do. The students do many many art projects that help to stimulate their brain, like building an igloo out of milk jugs. Every year they “adopt” an Iditarod team and watch their progress throughout the race. All the while they are learning about why they are racing and what challenges they are facing. She is in charge of the music program for the lower grades and is the director for the actual show. She puts so much extra time and effort into everything. As long as she’s been teaching she has been the first one in the building and the last one to leave. Usually she is there around six and leaves closer to six that night that not. Her dedication is above anyone else’s I’ve ever known.


Name: Tonya Hanson

School: Wapello Elementary School

Date: December 31, 2019

Nominated by: Tiffanie Geiger

Always willing to help others, patient, kind,. Always going out of her way to make her students smile. She’s an amazing teacher and puts her time in so her students can succeed. She put 50+ hrs in a week with planning, grading, activities, staying after school to help her students with assignments. She’s all around an amazing teacher and mentor. You’ll never meet a teacher as amazing as her.








Name: Jennifer Tuck

School: Sunnyside Elementary School

Date: January 7, 2020

Nominated by: Lindsey Draper

Miss Tuck is the most incredible teacher! She loved each and everyone of her students. She stays current with her curriculum and teaching methods. She helps those that neeed extra attention but also challenges those that need that as well. She goes above and beyond in teaching her students send they thrive in her classroom. She is by far the most talented, gifted teacher send off my children have had! I wish she could be all four of my children’s teacher until they graduate.







Name: Linda Palmer

School: Farnsworth Elementary School

Date: January 14, 2020

Nominated by: Angela Youngstrom

Mrs. Palmer is An amazing 3rd grade Spanish immersion teacher. She goes above and beyond. When she noticed my son couldn’t concentrate well she moved him to the front of the classroom. She even gave him a bouncy bar on his chair to help him focus energy there. She wants him to succeed in reading so she’s giving him the tools for that. She even taught him how to tie his shoelaces. All the children love her as a teacher she goes above and beyond. When she noticed my son couldn’t concentrate well she moved him to the front of the classroom. She even gave him a bouncy bar to help him get out his nerves. She wants him to succeed in reading so she’s giving him the tools for that. She even taught him how to tie his shoelaces. All the children love her as a teacher and respect her.



Name: Melanie Harris

School: Sandcreek Middle School

Date: January 21, 2020

Nominated by: Mariah Roberts

Miss Harris is a phenomenal teacher! She has the best classroom. And she teachers math in a way that I get the procedure! She does the best activities! Her class is very organized that I love! So I think she is the best teacher in the world!








Name: Julie Nawrocki

School: Skyline High School

Date: January 28, 2020

Nominated by: Ivan Ruiz

Mrs Nawrocki was my math teacher for the last two years of high school. She arrives at the school hours before school starts and stays hours after school. She is always helping students with math, college applications, writing letters of recommendation, and supporting us in all of our extracurricular activities. Mrs. Nawrocki never gives up on us, even when we give up on ourselves, even if we do bad on tests, she holds us accountable and helps us find a path forward. She believes in us, supports us, even after we graduate she checks up on us.
Mrs. Nawrocki Is an engineer turned teacher. She could easily get paid three times what she’s making and put in a lot less time as an engineer, but she chooses to teach us math. I don’t think I fully understood how much she did for us until I started college. It was there that I realized how much of an advantage I had over my current classmates because of the time and effort that Mrs. Nawrocki put into teaching us. If I ever consider not going to class, I remember her words telling us if I did nothing else in college I needed to go to class every day. If I think about skipping reading before a lecture I remember her telling us how important it is to show up to class prepared so that we know what questions to ask. She taught me to go to my professors office hours and ask every question I needed to. But most importantly, Mrs. Nawrocki taught me that I’m in charge of my learning, and if I want that “A” I have to earn it.
One of the biggest impacts that Mrs. Nawrocki had on me was that she would always tell me that she expected me to change the world, to make the world a better place. When I got accepted to my dream college, I showed up to school and she had purchased a shirt for me from that school and she hung a pennant of that school on her wall. She was telling me how proud she was of me, but all I could think was how honored I was to make it on her college wall.


Name: Brigett Cress

School: Thunder Ridge High School

Date: February 5, 2020

Nominated by: Mary Hodson

Mrs. Cress is by far the most amazing, caring, loving, and most engaging Teachers I have ever known.
Mrs. Cress puts her heart into teaching special needs kids, she loves it and it shows.!
She not only teaches them scholastically, but she prepares them to take care of themselves outside of school, so they can be as independent as possible, she makes them believe in themselves.
I honestly cannot say enough about Mrs. Cress, I love to watch her with these kids, they are her passion, and she wants the very best for them.
It is such an honor to be in her classroom, and to have her teach us also, her Para’s how to be better at our job.
She deserves to be honored, she really is amazing!





Name: Linda Rice

School: Taylor’s Crossing Public Charter School

Date: February 11, 2020

Nominated by: An Old Student

Because she is the best teacher I have ever had! She cares so much for everyone and is always willing to help anyone in need! She always knows the right way to teach, making everyone understand the concept!









Name: Sharon Hoge

School: Blackfoot High School

Date: February 18, 2020

Nominated by: Reagan Dougal & Hannah Cox

She has always been so supportive of me. On my worst days, her room is always open, she will answer texts late at night or early in the morning and is always willing to listen. Her room is decidedly the safe place for many troubled and struggling kids. She has been a second mom to me and to many others. – Reagan

Mrs. Hoge has helped me get through some really tough times in my life. She’s always looking out for me, making sure I have what I need to succeed in life. She really cares about all of her students. She is like a mother to me. I think she is a great role model and one day I want to be like her. – Hannah



Name: Paula Trudell

School: Idaho Falls High School

Date: February 25, 2020

Nominated by: Savannah Dennert

She is a really good English teacher. She helped me understand grammar. I made a grammar notebook in her class last year that I am still using. She is very nice and organized. She is always willing to help and has a positive attitude.







Name: Erik Bloom

School: Madison Middle School

Date: March 3, 2020

Nominated by: Rachel Bloom

Mr. Bloom has done a lot to his classroom to make it fun! He has painted murals on his walls to spark creativity and make his classroom a fun place to learn. He has transformed his classroom into a space-themed room perfect for a science teacher. He really cares about his students and he tries to make his kids laugh because he believes his students should have fun at school. Growing up with learning disabilities (dyslexia and dysgraphia), he knows first hand how hard school can be. He wants to be the encouraging teacher that helps kids like that, and give them hope that they can succeed too.






Name: Maureen Jenkins

School: Fairview Elementary School

Date: March 10, 2020

Nominated by: Brenda Stegelmeier

Mrs. Jenkins has been an outstanding teacher at Fairview Elementary for more than thirty years. She taught our children and they truly gained a love of learning from her. One of our sons did not like to read until Mrs. Jenkins introduced him to a book through read-aloud time which truly changed his life. Another one of our children struggled with test anxiety. Mrs. Jenkins mentored him and worked with him one-on-one until he was able to gain the confidence needed to succeed. She teaches the whole child and is truly dedicated to helping them achieve success in all areas of their lives including the way they treat other students.
When our children were older I earned my teaching degree and had the opportunity to team teach with Mrs. Jenkins. She was an amazing mentor and I got to see firsthand the dedication and hard work which went into every student. She has been a blessing to so many and truly deserves to be recognized as an outstanding teacher, mentor, and example to so many.


Name: Cindy Wolfe

School: Rigby High School

Date: March 17, 2020

Nominated by: Bethani Justesen

She is just an amazing teacher in general. She really cares about every single one of her students. She always has a positive attitude, and does anything to help each and every student.she has been a teacher there for over 25 years. She really is an amazing teacher.


Name: Stacey Hutchins

School: South Fork Elementary

Date: March 24, 2020

Nominated by: Liam Phillips

She is a great 5th grade teacher that helps students all the time. Sometimes students can be not grateful but she always has a smile and keeps going and takes the time to help each individual student with their specific needs no matter how long it takes. she is amazing and is the perfect example of a great teacher!


Name: Jessi Nelson

School: Idaho Science and Technology Charter School

Date: March 31, 2020

Nominated by: Nancy Dalley

Mrs. Nelson teaches drama to students from kindergarten-8th grade. She has a passion for the subject, which the students find contagious. She spends countless hours making costumes, sets and props on an almost non-existent budget. She cares immensely for her students, and their achievements in class, and throughout life.


Name: Gina Christensen

School: Irving Middle School

Date: April 14, 2020

Nominated by: Addison Tensei

I’m nominating her because she is an amazing teacher! She is so sweet and caring towards everyone!! She loves to help students succeed and if they are having a hard time they will do everything in her power to make them succeed!


Name: Mary Towler

School: Compass Academy

Date: April 21, 2020

Nominated by: Anna Durfee

Mary is the glue that holds many of us together. She is an innovative and inspiring instructor and has led the way in our math curriculum for years. She develops strong relationships with kids and any kid can succeed in her class. She has tirelessly worked with students who struggle with math and shown them how they can succeed. Mary believes that a mathematician resides in all of us and truly, I believe, if we allowed ourselves to be taught by Mary, we’d all become great mathematicians. She is one of my colleagues whose advice I seek often and whose judgement I trust.


Name: Nichole Pincock

School: Fox Hollow Elementary School

Date: April 28, 2020

Nominated by: Anna Field

Mrs. Pincock is our daughter’s Kindergarten teacher. During this remote learning experience she has gone above and beyond the required. She sends us DAILY videos with the student’s normal morning routines, extra fun stuff like jokes and story time, and has even taken time to do a virtual show and tell. She is so patient and kind, and very accommodating for all students. She is a wonderful teacher and a wonderful blessing for our daughter.


School: Alameda Middle School

Date: May 5, 2020

Nominated by: Ashley Guardipee

During this time of isolation and social distancing Ms. Maryann McGrory has been a shining star for my 7th grader. She teaches my son Geography this trimester at Alameda Middle School.
His 13th birthday was in April and due to Covid-19 we weren’t able to have a party for him with any of his friends like we would have otherwise. He was bummed. Two days later, on a Saturday afternoon, Ms. McGrory showed up at our house with a Happy birthday balloon and a gift bag inside, a cupcake for him. He was so surprised!
Today, out of the blue she showed up at our door again with a gift sack full of trinkets she had planned on giving out on St. Patrick’s day along with a note saying “I miss you”! She was delivering one to each of her students! I’m guessing that would be around 100 students! I am in awe of her kindness and dedication to these kids and cannot imagine a more deserving teacher.






Name: Allison Blatter

School: Edgemont Elementary School

Date: May 12, 2020

Nominated by: Brian Kearsley

Alison has been teaching first grade for 15 years and taught kindergarten for a year before 1st grade. She loves her students and goes above and beyond to help them and make learning fun and exciting for them. She frequently has past students come up and talk to her and several that have thanked her for the impact she has had on their lives. During the COVID-19 era, she is keeping in contact with each one of her students using technology and she misses her students!

Alison is a great example of what a loving teacher should do to help students learn and progress through life. She is a single mom and she has three girls of her own she is trying to home school in addition to keeping up with the students in her classroom. She is a great teacher who deserves to be recognized for her efforts!