LEWISTON, Idaho – Dani Bozzuto, a 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Orchards Elementary School in Lewiston, has been selected as the 2021 Outstanding Teacher Educator by the Lewis-Clark State College Teacher Education Division.
Bozzuto will be honored during the Teacher Education Division’s graduation celebration on Thursday at 11:15 a.m. in the LC State Activity Center.
“For more than seven years, Dani has welcomed LC State students to her classroom, sharing with them her expertise in practical and unforgettable ways,” said Mark Haynal, chair of the LC State Teacher Education Division. “Teachers like Dani, who help us train new teachers, are our most important partners.”
Bozzuto has hosted eight student teachers and scores of LC State students taking teacher education courses that have a clinical experience requirement.
“Because I had such a positive experience at LC State, I couldn’t wait to start helping the Teacher Education Division train new teachers,” said Bozzuto. “Shauna Castellaw, who mentored me when I did my student teaching, is a saint. She taught me how to be positive about each day and how to truly appreciate the weird things kids do and find the good in each of them.”
Bozzuto’s advice to LC State’s current teachers-in-training is to take everything in, ask as many questions as possible and never, ever miss an opportunity to learn or try something new.
“But, the most important thing is to build a relationship with each child you teach,” Bozzuto said. “The children we teach are the most important people in the world!”
Bozzuto said she decided to become a teacher when she was in high school and working as a swimming instructor.
“I found I loved working with children, that I looked forward to teaching them,” Bozzuto said.
Bozzuto decided to attend LC State after participating in a volleyball tournament on campus.
“I thought the campus and city were just the right size and the people were all so kind and friendly,” Bozzuto said.
She graduated with a degree in elementary education in 2011. Since then she has taught for Lewiston Public Schools, where she was named Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2019.