By ROBERT S. MERRILL
A new program that is unique in the State of Idaho and possibly across the intermountain West will assist West Side School District teachers obtain Master’s level degrees.
The district is offering scholarship funding up to $6,000 for teachers who agree to pursue the higher education. Monies for the scholarships will come from an endowment fund set up in 2007 by a former local resident, Larry Dahle, and his family.
“It has always been a dream of Dahle to help our teachers reach their highest potential and to create incentives to recruit and keep the best ones in our district,” said Mellisa Waddoups, who was instrumental in helping establish the fund.
Superintendent Melvin Beutler and Waddoups both said they are unaware of anything similar being offered by any other district in the state or region.
Beutler said top priority for the scholarship awards will be given to teachers seeking adjunct professor status in order to teach concurrent enrollment classes or to a teacher the administration has asked to further his/her education to satisfy a specific district need.
“The endowment funds will reimburse a maximum amount of $4,000 as the employee is pursuing course work. Upon successful completion of a Master’s degree in 36 months or less, the remaining $2,000 will be reimbursed to the applicant for a total not to exceed $6,000,” said Beutler.
The superintendent said those recipients of the funds must commit to stay with West Side School District for five years after the degree is
obtained. Breaking the contract will result in repayment of funds.
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