Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter delivered a back-to-school message from his Ceremonial Office in the Capitol and interacted with students in three Idaho school districts today via the Idaho Education Network.
The Governor was joined by Superintendent Tom Luna during the hour-long demonstration of the IEN's capabilities and potential. It was Governor Otter's first virtual office visit with Nezperce High School, New Plymouth High School and Canyon Ridge High School in Twin Falls. It was an opportunity for government students and student council members from each of the schools to hear from state leaders and report to them on some of the highlights of their areas of Idaho -- all at the same time, and live via the IEN.
Many Idaho students with limited access to Boise and the Capitol were able to get the Governor's perspectives on issues and share their thoughts on a variety of topics. The Governor and students discussed such issues as wolves, agriculture, gas prices and their schools' academic achievements. Students at each of the high schools were well prepared to present their vision and ideas about their local community. They focused on ideas for economic development and tourism.
"I can see why so many of Idaho's communities are so proud of their heritage and culture when they are so well represented by such talented young students. It makes me proud to be an Idahoan, and to bring this kind of technology to enhance their educational experience," Governor Otter said.
He and Superintendent Luna encouraged the students to challenge themselves by taking difficult classes to prepare for college, and whenever possible to take advantage of dual enrollment opportunities and other courses offered over the IEN that might not otherwise be available in their local schools. Governor Otter emphasized the possibilities for collaborating with their peers in other high schools on research and academic competition over the IEN.
The Idaho Education Network celebrates its one year anniversary next Tuesday, September 14, at 3:30 p.m. MST from the Barbara Morgan Room on the 2nd floor of the Len B. Jordan Building, across State Street from the Capitol in Boise, by recognizing those administrators and teachers who have most creatively embraced the broadband technology in their classrooms. The Governor and Superintendent Luna will host the IEN "Talk" Awards ceremony to recognize these education pioneers.