Idaho Falls

September 2018

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Page 85 of 87

For over the last three decades my professional career and personal life have followed the cycles of the school year. As I prepare for my own 40th high school reunion I realize that school isn't just about learning, it helps create the framework that we build our lives upon. In Idaho Falls, we have so many educational opportunities to pursue, that there is little excuse for not finding a niche that fits. I have been fortunate to teach in schools all across our state and with teachers from all different disciplines and I have learned a few things worthy of note. Idaho Falls, like the rest of the state, has some fine school facilities, but we also have some sorely in need of upgrade or replacement. The newest versions of Longfellow and Dora Erickson, Edgemont and Ethel Boyes are something to behold. The transformation of Clare E. Gale into the Compass Academy is both physically and educationally exciting. I've had the pleasure to meet these young people and experience the new ways they are learning to tackle the problems of the future. While some school buildings are capable of a Cinderella transformation, others are best remembered in their glory years, acknowl- edging that they have become ugly step sisters in need of replacement. Teachers are like any other profession. Some teachers are excellent, some are, adequate, and others need to find another line of work. Our teachers here are com- pensated okay, but they certainly aren't in it for the money. They do it because they love the students and this holds true for all the other staff as well. Along with putting more money into our facilities we could also pay our teachers more. Let's see if we can raise Idaho up a few notches from the bottom when it comes to funding. The advent of charter schools has created a wide range of options available for young people. Each one of these schools tackles the challenges of education from a different perspective in a way that hopefully creates a pathway to learning that is attractive to the youth. Likewise, we have some incredible parochial schools like Holy Rosary, Hope Lutheran and Watersprings, and others that allow for import spiritual components to be included as part of a successful educational experience. Of course, older students from LDS backgrounds are able to utilize the institutes adjacent to their schools for seminary classes. For those students who march to a dif- ferent drummer we have some excellent alternative schools ready to help keep them engaged in the import pursuit of learn- ing. Some of the most attentive students I ever spoke to were those who had made the realization that having a GED was an important step towards getting their young lives back on track. While we have some fine institutions of higher education in either direction of us on I-15, the ever increasing local options for getting a start on college without having to leave home is exciting. The Idaho Falls Campus on the river for ISU, UI and College of Western Idaho has lots of the prerequisite courses that students need before moving on to more erudite experiences. The ink is barely dry on the signs for the newly con- stituted College of Eastern Idaho but the opportunities it has to offer will only be limited by the dreams and hard work of those students that will become it's first grad- uating class. 86 IDAHO FALLS MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2018 Out There by Gregg Losinski

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