Mackay Agriscience Instructor Trent Van Leuven is the 2024 Idaho Teacher of the Year

Mackay Agriscience Instructor Trent Van Leuven is the 2024 Idaho Teacher of the YearIn a well-deserved recognition of his dedication and innovation in education, Trent Van Leuven has been named the 2024 Idaho Teacher of the Year. Van Leuven, an agriscience instructor and FFA advisor at Mackay Junior/Senior High School, stands out for his unwavering commitment to providing exceptional learning experiences for his students.

Teaching a diverse range of subjects from agriculture education to grades eight through 12, Van Leuven has transformed his classroom into a dynamic hub of experiential learning. With a Bachelor of Science in agriculture education from the University of Idaho, Van Leuven has amassed 14 years of teaching experience, with the last nine dedicated to nurturing young minds in Mackay, Idaho.

At the heart of Van Leuven’s teaching philosophy lies the belief in providing students with practical skills and real-world experiences. Utilizing resources such as fish labs, greenhouses, and modern equipment, he ensures that his students are equipped with in-demand skills for the future. Reflecting on his approach, Van Leuven emphasizes the importance of helping students find their passion, stating, “My goals are to teach students to be lifelong learners, collaborate, and have empathy for others.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Debbie Critchfield, lauded Van Leuven’s impact on students and the community, remarking, “His classes provide skill development and support local businesses. We want to let you know that we value and support what you do.” Van Leuven’s dedication extends beyond the classroom, as he serves in various roles including head teacher, Future Farmers of America advisor, local union president, president of the Mackay Education Association, chairman of the State and Federal Lands Committee of the Idaho Farm Bureau, and secretary for the Idaho Agriculture Teachers Association.

Van Leuven’s accolades and accomplishments speak volumes about his commitment to excellence in education. Notably, he was one of six educators nationwide to receive the National Agri-science Teacher of the Year Award in 2016. Furthermore, his innovative teaching methods have garnered recognition, such as the Ideas Unlimited Award for using a mobile cow skeleton to teach anatomy.

Reflecting on his recognition as the 2024 Idaho Teacher of the Year, Van Leuven expressed gratitude to his community, stating, “It takes a community to make things happen. Whenever I need help, someone is there. Thanks so much.” His impact on education extends beyond Idaho’s borders as he prepares to represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.

In celebrating Trent Van Leuven’s achievement as the 2024 Idaho Teacher of the Year, we recognize his unwavering dedication to shaping the future generation and his exemplary contributions to education. Through his leadership, innovation and passion, Van Leuven embodies the essence of outstanding teaching.

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