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Preston Junior High students want their teacher back

May 10, 2018 GMT

Preston Junior High students want their teacher back, said parents attending the April Preston School Board meeting. They were referring to their science teacher who is was been placed on administrative leave while the Idaho State Attorney General’s office investigates whether there was any wrongdoing when the teacher fed an ill puppy to a snapping turtle.

The board had no comment, as is their policy on cases dealing with personnel and when a situation is under investigation.

“My kid is having a hard time,” said Laura Facer, as did Darren Kelly of his child. Facer told the board the community should have a say as to whether the teacher stays or not.

“It is time to stand behind our teachers. It is time to stand behind our kids,” said Kelley.

“This teacher has influenced everyone in this room,” said Dave Kerr, who spoke in support of the teacher as well. “We support this gentleman,” he said.

In other business, the district discussed grants received that will provide an embroidery machine purchased for the Career and Technical Education CTE program, that will update a computer lab for the family and consumer science classes, an updated technology, text and online course for the automotive program, and a 12-14 passenger van for the CTE program, which includes, electronics, automotive, family and consumer sciences, wood working, health care and ag classes.

The district has had 86 students sign-up for the personalized learning program, making it possible for the district to implement the program this fall. The program will be run by Pandi Ellison-Chang, Julie Tueller and Thomas Schmidt.

They will use an online program called summit, which has been implemented by Ririe, Bear Lake, West Side and other districts in the state, said junior high principal Curtis Jensen. He will move to the high school this fall to help implement the program.

“Teachers have complete control of what is taught,” he said. Students will be learning the same things as students learning in the traditional classroom method, but in a different way.

The program has been limited to the size it is in order to allow the teachers to gain the training they need as they teach.

It was noted that the date for the 2018 graduation ceremony is May 24 at 8 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.

The district approved the upcoming school year’s calendar. Classes will begin on August 21. Christmas break begins on Dec. 21 and runs though Jan. 2 Spring break is March 25-28, 2019.

The district also approved the purchase of two new busses. Superintendent noted that there is a shortage of bus drivers, which is also a national problem.