By Donna Emert
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho---A consummate educator, scholar and education advocate, Coeur d’Alene School District teacher Nancy Larsen is no stranger to receiving honors.
Her teaching excellence and leadership in her profession have been recognized locally by the Coeur d’Alene School District, by the state of Idaho, and nationally, by the Education Association Foundation. Those honors include recognition as the Coeur d’Alene School District’s Educator of the Year in 1999 and Idaho’s Teacher of the year in 2000.
Most recently, Larsen is the recipient of a University of Idaho Alumni Excellence Award, which holds special meaning for her.
“This honor by my university is received with humility and pride,” Larsen said. “The University of Idaho has meant so much to me throughout the years. I was a kid who never had college in my future, but I started a relationship with the University when it expanded beyond Moscow and made college more than a dream; it became my reality. Then, as University of Idaho continued to grow, my possibilities also began to grow.”
Larsen was a great fit for U-Idaho’s Educational Leadership program, said North Idaho program director Kathy Canfield-Davis, Larsen’s mentor. Canfield-Davis was one several faculty who accompanied Alumni Excellence Award winners-- their mentees--and were themselves honored as “influential faculty members at the University of Idaho” at a recent Alumni Awards for Excellence Banquet in Moscow.
“Nancy’s career, education and advocacy for students align closely with the University of Idaho’s tripartite mission of teaching, research and service,” said Canfield Davis. “Professional and community service have been a hallmark of Nancy’s vocation in public education.”
“I have many role models who have become friends and mentors from University of Idaho,” said Larsen. “Kathy’s expectations have always been high and have inspired me to believe I have what it takes to be a doctoral student, a leader and a colleague. Being recognized for this award has strengthened my sense of belonging and made me feel that down deep I was, without knowing, a kid who did have college in my future.”
Larsen currently teaches at the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy. She will receive a doctorate in educational leadership this May from the University of Idaho at Coeur d’Alene.
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The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to more than 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.