University of Idaho Education Student Receives Governor’s Award

Monday, April 27 2009

April 27, 2009

Written by Cheryl Dudley

MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho graduate student and College of Education Wright Fellow Salvatore Lorenzen recently was recognized by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter for his exceptional efforts as a Post Falls high school science teacher. Lorenzen received the 2009 Governor’s Industry Award for Notable Teaching in Science (GIANTS) during a ceremony at the Discovery Center of Idaho in Boise on April 21.

“Teachers have a tremendous responsibility to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce,” said Governor Otter. “More than ever, we need teachers who can inspire students to lives spent in discovery, learning and achievement. Those teachers who excel deserve our support and recognition.”

Lorenzen was one of three GIANTS Award recipients; the three were nominated by their school’s student council and/or parent groups and received $2,000. The nominating group also received a $500 cash prize.

“The award is confirmation that I’m doing this right, or at least that I’m headed in the right direction,” said Lorenzen.

Lorenzen is the Professional Technical Department chair at Post Falls High School and has been teaching Technology Education since 2002. As the leader and adviser of the school’s first robotics team and a variety of other student clubs, he has dedicated countless hours helping students come together to put application to science and technology. In its first year, the robotics team competed in two major events and placed eighth out 54 teams. As a result of Lorenzen’s dedication, student participation has increased significantly.

Lorenzen also has worked with local industry to create a professional-technical advisory committee focused on bridging the gap between education and local industry.

“I believe that building a network of mentors, leaders and supporters is a crucial component to education that sometimes gets lost in the push for test scores, accountability and government oversight,” said Lorenzen. “Local people doing what is best for students will result in more opportunities and more of an impact on kids than any standardized testing could possibly accomplish.”

After serving in the U.S. Navy as a Cryptological Maintenance Technician, Lorenzen took his passion for technology to the classroom and in 2002 earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Idaho. In 2008, through a highly competitive process, he was selected to receive a Wright Fellows Scholarship and currently is pursuing a master’s degree in education.

The GIANTS program was initiated by the Office of the Governor. With support from the Idaho State Commercial Innovation Division, the State Department of Education and Office of the State Board of Education, as well as the Discovery Center of Idaho, GIANTS recognizes teachers for their efforts to link industry and the economic future of Idaho to the classroom by enhancing science and technology education.

“Getting local kids with Idaho values excited about engineering, technology and science will hopefully result in these students returning home to build their successful businesses and improve opportunities for all of us,” said Lorenzen.
# # #

About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit 

Media Contact: Cheryl Dudley, College of Education, (208) 885-0119,

About the University of Idaho
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 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. For information, visit