WILEY DOBBS RECOGNIZED FOR INVOLVEMENT IN THE IDAHO CONGRESSIONAL AWARD PROGRAM
Mr. CRAIG. Mr. President, education is the fundamental base that enables our youth to transition to adulthood. The basic principles students learn provide them with the necessary skills to become productive and responsible citizens. In Idaho we view education as an investment not to be taken lightly. It is essential our students are well prepared so that the journey through the halls of our schools will end at the doorway to success.
The preparation for this passage is intense. Not only must our students understand the basics of science, civics, and communication, but they are expected to defend themselves in the face of peer pressure and poor choices. In order the achieve this, we look to those who serve on the front lines of our education system. It is our teachers who will help students aspire to greatness. In Idaho, our teachers do more than expected by expressing to our students the importance of giving back to our communities. They show our students an avenue through which to improve themselves and the cities and towns from which they come. Teachers who encourage community service ought to be thanked.
I thank all the administrators, staff, and teachers in Idaho schools for helping our students visualize their self-worth, thus enabling them to achieve greatness. In addition, today I would like to single out one educator in particular for his dedication and commitment to our local community.
Wiley Dobbs has served in nearly every level of the education system over his tenure in southern Idaho. From time spent as a student at Morningside Elementary school, to his current position as superintendent of the Twin Falls School District, Wiley Dobbs has had a positive impact on the lives of others every step of the way. The standard of excellence set by Wiley is one for which all Idaho educators should strive.
Wiley began his higher educational endeavor at the College of Southern Idaho where he received an associates degree. He later went on to receive two bachelors degrees in social science and health and physical education from Boise State University. Wiley began his career as a teacher in Montpelier, ID who he taught five subjects and coached three sports. He then moved to Twin Falls and taught at both O'Leary Jr. High School and Twin Falls High School. During his time in the high school he taught courses in Government and English, coached wrestling, and worked toward receiving his master's degree in education from Albertson College of Idaho.
After receiving his master's degree, Wiley made the transition from educator to administrator. Despite the shifting role, Wiley positive impact on students only improved. As principal of the Magic Valley Alternative High School, he increased enrollment from 40 to over 125 students in only 2 years. Wiley also served as Principal of O'Leary Junior High School in Twin Falls. His outstanding work with both the students and faculty in he southern Idaho school district was recognized not only by the local community, but by the state, as well. In 1999, the Idaho Associates of Secondary School Administrators, MetLife, and the National Association of Secondary Principals named him Idaho's Secondary Principal of the Year. In 2001, Wiley was named the State Middle Level Educator of the Year.
Wiley's work is also recognized on the national level. His involvement on the Idaho Congressional Award Board has raised the number of Idaho recipients to one of the highest in the nation. Students receive the honor by registering on the national level, and then completing hundreds of hours of community service in four separate categories: volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition exploration. Those students receiving the Gold Medal will have completed at least 700 hours of community service over a 2-3 year period. Wiley has advised and helped approximately a third of Idaho's Gold Medal recipients since the beginning of his involvement in 1993 when he was named to the post by Congressman MIKE CRAPO.
Wiley Dobbs has been the driving force behind the Idaho Congressional Award Program. He has inspired, motivated, and encouraged hundreds of Idaho's youth to receive the national honor. His efforts have solidified Idaho's presence in the national program, and it is his investment in Idaho's students that will benefit all our local communities. I hope all of us, especially those involved in our education system, will look to the example set by Wiley Dobbs. His leadership and dedication to our children are an inspiration to us all.