Thursday, December 6, 2012


Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna attended a school assembly at Canfield Middle School in Coeur d’Alene this morning to celebrate the great strides they have made in student achievement.

After all, the school has met Adequate Yearly Progress and is a Four-Star School. But he was there for another reason too…

In the middle of the assembly, Superintendent Luna surprised the faculty, staff and students by naming one of their teachers as the 2013 Idaho Teacher of the Year!

Katie Pemberton, a mathematics teacher at Canfield Middle, has been selected as the 2013 Idaho Teacher of the Year!

Katie Pemberton accepts the $1,000 check from Superintendent Luna.
She has taught for seven years and also works as an adjunct professor at Lewis-Clark State College. In 2011, she won the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Now, as Idaho Teacher of the Year, she will receive $1,000 from the Idaho State Department of Education, an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., and go on to represent Idaho as a nominee for the National Teacher of the Year.

“Katie Pemberton will be a great representative of Idaho and the talented teachers we have across Idaho as our state’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year,” Superintendent Luna said. “Despite being young in her career, Pemberton has stood out as an excellent teacher. She doesn’t shy away from working with at-risk students and is always looking for new, innovative strategies to help every child learn. For these reasons and more, Katie Pemberton was selected as Idaho’s Teacher of the Year.”

Nick Lilyquist, Principal of Canfield Middle and one of the few who was privy to the secret before the assembly, called Pemberton the “ultimate educator.”

“She arrives at school every day with a positive attitude and determined to help all her students succeed in mathematics,” he said.

The Idaho Teacher of the Year program began in 1959 and has become 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.

Every year, school districts and charter schools across Idaho have the opportunity to nominate one teacher for the Idaho Teacher of the Year. A state selection committee representing teachers, education leaders, parents and legislators from across the state select the Idaho Teacher of the Year from among the nominations.

Pemberton was selected as the Coeur d’Alene School District Teacher of the Year before becoming Idaho’s Teacher of the Year.

In her application, Pemberton said as Idaho’s Teacher of the Year, she would focus on increasing the use of technology in the classroom to improve student achievement and working to build more respect for the teaching profession by encouraging more ambitious individuals to go into teaching.

“This is the most amazing profession,” Pemberton said as she accepted the award. She looked at her students and continued, “You inspire me each and every day. It’s an honor to collaborate with my colleagues. We work with other teachers throughout Coeur d'Alene and the state to bring new and innovative ideas to our students.”

After the assembly, she went right back to her classroom and started teaching.

Katie Pemberton invited Superintendent Luna to sit in on her classroom after the schoolwide assembly announcing her as the 2013 Idaho Teacher of the Year.

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