By Christian Weaner| Photo by Janel Gion
Jamie Zimmerman, Fourth Grade Washington Elementary
Jamie Zimmerman spent much of her adolescence and young adulthood bouncing back and forth between Bonner County and Colorado, but Idaho has always been her true home.
"I have so many connections to the community and people of Sandpoint, and this has always been the place I consider home," Jamie explained.
About 15 years ago, Jamie and her husband, Ted, permanently returned to Sandpoint to raise their three children. Over the past decade and a half, Jamie has been an integral part of the Lake Pend Oreille School District (LPOSD), serving as a parent, parent organization member, secretary and, for the past four years, a fourth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary.
From the time she was a young girl, Jamie always knew that she wanted to be a teacher. "I have always enjoyed working with young children, and teaching was my plan for as long as I can remember," she noted.
Jamie's teaching career began when she lived in Colorado, and after moving back to Bonner County, she spent more than 10 years working at Sandpoint Children's Learning Center (SCLC).
While working at SCLC, Jamie's passion for teaching was spurred on by her boss, Carol Millard, whom Jamie describes as "one of the most amazing humans and the best preschool teacher I have ever known."
Currently, Jamie serves as a mentor teacher and key member of Washington Elementary's Leading Learning Team, a group of teachers who seeks to help the school's staff collaborate and understand student data to best serve the needs of the student body.
"As teachers, we are constantly learning and having to adjust our strategies," Jamie examined. "Being a mentor and part of a learning community gives you the opportunity to collaborate and learn / try new strategies to help all our students have the best opportunities to learn."
Outside of teaching, Jamie loves any activity that involves friends and fun. During the summer, you can often find her out on the lake or hiking one of the area's many scenic trails with her family, and in the wintertime, she spends nearly every weekend at Schweitzer.
Ultimately, for Jamie, Sandpoint feels like home because of the "awesome community" that she and her family are surrounded by every day, both at school and in everyday life.
"I love our team at Washington and am so lucky to be surrounded by these people," Jamie described. "I wouldn't be who I am without them."