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  • Andrea Foster

2019 Idaho Gem Awards

Congratulations to the following IAESP Gem Award recipients! They will be formally recognized at the Leadership Conference this summer.

Distinguished Service: Gale Zickefoose,

Shadow Hills Elementary - Boise School District

Gale Zickefoose has demonstrated superior leadership in elementary education and outstanding service to his profession, to IASA and to the welfare of Idaho students.

At the first two schools where he was an administrator, "...he worked with staff to create and implement character education programs that are still functioning well after his departure." -Tim Lowe, principal at Taft Elementary School

Boise Schools Area Director Teri Thaemert noted that, "Gale recently facilitated a committee that focused on elementary attendance. He has taken the extra step countless times to reach out to families and build the bridges necessary to get the students back in school."

Jenell Irwin, a 6th-grade teacher at Shadow Hills Elementary, commented that, "Gale is able to laugh both at himself and others, making him a very approachable and communicative leader. He understands how to reach a variety of people in many different ways. He makes a point of ...[getting] out of his office to make himself available. He is always willing to listen and support students, parents and staff."

And Shadow Hills parent, Dawna Lindley, noted Gale's care for students: "The students admire and respect him. Most seem to look up to him like a coach, rather than just an authority figure. He has proven to be a positive role model for these young people, which is so essential at these ages."


Rookie Administrator: Joe Hally,

New Plymouth Middle School - New Plymouth School District

Joe Hally has been recognized for going above and beyond leadership expectations of the average new administrator. Superintendent Sotutu offered evidence of Principal Hally's commitment to student achievement:

Seeing that science was an area where our middle school students did not exceed the state average last year, Mr. Hally worked with his teachers to change the schedule and allocate resources to implement STEM classes into his students' schedule. He is also working with other educational resources, in and out of the district, to provide extended learning experiences and high school credits for students who are excelling in the general education classrooms.

School counselor Rick Hartshorn spoke to Joe's "...ability to work with the staff members, [which] is second to none. Our staff is a mixture of young and old and Joe relates to all of them well. He finds ways to speak to everyone and puts them on a level playing field. Everyone feels like they are important working for Joe."

Support letters for his Gem award nomination all mentioned Joe's boundless energy in solving problems and moving the school forward. Parent Lisa Burell appreciated the way he, "...take[s] charge with professional integrity absent of ego. He is supportive and yet doesn't crumble if people do not like the decision he must make. Joe Hally leads from the front and I am quite proud that he is part of New Plymouth School District"

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