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Foundation names Middle School Educator of the Year

by Daily Inter Lake
| April 5, 2024 12:00 AM

Taylor Ferda is the recipient of the Kalispell Education Foundation’s 2024 Middle School Educator of the Year award.

Ferda, social studies department head and teacher at Kalispell Middle School, was selected by a student board from among 143 nominations submitted by students, parents, staff and community members. During the selection process, teachers’ names were separated from their nominations to allow students to focus on a nominee’s actions, commitment to students and leadership.

In addition to teaching, Ferda coaches middle school track and field and cross country with his wife, Marie. 

“He was selected by our student board because of his ability to engage his students through creative classroom activities as well as his kind heart,” said foundation Executive Director Dorothy Drury. “Mr. Ferda’s positive attitude and determination to help students succeed instills critical confidence in his students. We are so grateful for all he does for our community’s children.”

The Kalispell Education Foundation Student Board included Glacier High School’s Elise Strobel and Creed Wiley and Flathead High School’s Vincent Lam and Naomi Miller. 

Nominators noted Ferda as an innovative teacher who makes learning memorable and treats students with respect.

Kalispell Public Schools K-8 Community Involvement Coordinator and parent Chau Young said he “encapsulates the very best of what Kalispell Middle School has to offer both inside and outside of the classroom.”

“His passion to see students exceed is seen in his high standards and expectations for them both in their academics and in character,” he said. “Students feel known and seen. In an age where teenagers are trying to figure out their identities, Mr. Ferda looks at the heart of his students to encourage them and give them confidence. As a coach, he continually emphasizes growth and meeting challenges. He sees the potential in his students and athletes, and provides them guidance to find success.”

As part of the award, Ferda received $1,000 to use in the classroom and a $250 gift certificate to Downtown Kalispell Association businesses. 

The nonprofit foundation is currently accepting nominations for 2024 Elementary School Educator of the Year. Community members may submit nominations for elementary teachers working for Kalispell Public Schools at www.kalispelleducationfoundation.org/educator-of-the-year-nomination.

For more information visit www.kalispelleducationfoundation.org or email info@kalispelleducationfoundation.org.