Mayor and high school teacher in American Falls, Marc Beitia, was named as teacher of the year for 2019.

The announcement came in class and then an assembly was held where he addressed the students. Beitia said that was a humbling experience.

“Considering the outstanding teachers that I work with every day and then being named teacher of the year in front of them it was quite humbling. I am fortunate to work with a faculty that in my opinion is second to none.” Beitia said.

With his new platform Beitia hopes that he can advocate for students who come from different back ground and cultures.

He shared that one student who has had a great impact on his life, she came as a DACA student and he it took him 9 months to build a relationship to where she trusted him and what he was saying. She grew up in an agricultural family and just a year ago graduated valedictorian with a full ride scholarship to Notre Dame.

“It’s amazing what kids can do when they see that other believe in them.” Beitia said.

His motivation is teaching students like that.

“You see kids who maybe don’t believe that they can, but you see something in them that maybe they don’t recognize in themselves sand you are able to turn an I can’t into an I can or an if only into a next time. It’s the difference you can make in a kids life that keeps me coming back every day.”

Beitia has been teaching for about 35 years but Beitia says kids really are about the same today as they were in the past the culture is just different.

“They still want to be successful, their definition of success might be different then what mine is, but they still have that desire. They lack sometimes but not all the time, the role model to help them get to where they want to go.”

In the end they are all just kids looking to find their way and Beitia says that as teacher it’s their job to help them find that path.

To any new teachers Beitia says to love what you do and care about the kids.

“Build those relationships that kids can trust what you say because they know you care about them,” Beitia said, “and if they have your trust, and you have theirs anything is possible.”