Jenette Noe ’13 and Tim Bourner ’08 are more than just teachers at New Plymouth High School. In the eyes of the student body, these two College of Idaho alumni are friends, mentors, examples and, at times, coaches. In the eyes of their fellow staff—some of whom are C of I graduates as well—they are two of the best, most dynamic educators their school has to offer.
It is for these reasons and more that Noe and Bourner are being recognized as New Plymouth’s 2017 Teachers of the Year. The awards were chosen through the votes of staff and students at the school, which educates just over 250 students in a small town of 1,400 people.
“You teach because you like the kids, and you want them to enjoy your classes for the right reasons,” Bourner said. “You always want students to look forward to coming to class and to feel like they’re welcome. It’s awesome to know we’re helping provide a good environment for them to learn in.”
New Plymouth names two Teacher of the Year awardees annually. Noe, who teaches both high school and middle school art, was chosen by her fellow staff members. Bourner, who teaches U.S. history and psychology in addition to his roles as head baseball and assistant football coach, was chosen based on a student vote.
Originally from Parma, Idaho, Noe is no stranger to small communities. After graduating from the C of I, Noe was attracted to New Plymouth in part because of its size. She was hired there for her first full-time teaching position in 2014, becoming one of the youngest teachers on the staff.
“It feels really good to be recognized by my fellow teachers,” Noe said. “To know in their wisdom and experience that they would choose to highlight my efforts, that’s very important to me.”
Bourner, who played baseball for the Yotes, also received his first full-time position at New Plymouth. Although Bourner has taught at other schools since, he returned in 2015 along with his wife, a native of New Plymouth, and his two children. Like Noe, Bourner said he prefers the tight-knit community smaller schools have to offer.
“I like the community we have here,” Bourner said. “You get to know the kids personally. No one gets lost in the shuffle. I’ve been at schools where sometimes there’s a feeling like it’s the faculty versus the students, but here it doesn’t feel that way. It’s always respectful, always cordial and sincere. We’re all working together.”
NPHS Principal Clete Edmunson said both Noe and Bourner received numerous votes in the staff and student categories, underscoring the positive impact they have made on the school and in their students’ lives.
“A great teacher goes the extra mile, and both Miss Noe and Mr. Bourner have those qualities,” Edmunson said. “They’re both able to relate so well to the students, and they do whatever it takes to support them. These awards are well deserved, and we’re lucky to have them here.”
Both Noe and Bourner take pride in their alma mater, displaying C of I banners and stickers in their classrooms. Noe even made a paper mache coyote that hangs above her desk. This fall’s incoming class of C of I students will feature two New Plymouth alumni, both of whom Noe and Bourner taught and encouraged to attend.
“Maybe I’m biased, but I feel like C of I has some of the highest standards out there,” Noe said. “Being a teacher is a very busy, stressful job at times, but I feel like I was completely ready for it after my C of I experience.”
The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.