LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Raya Steele

Position: Special Education Teacher
School: Mountain Valley Elementary School
School District: Bonneville School District 93
City, State: Ammon, ID

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Raya Steele was nominated by her principal, Lanie Keller.

There are some teachers that stand out so much that they burst into your school like a beam of sunlight. Mrs. Steele is that teacher. She is very concerned about students at her school. She is not only concerned about their academic success, but about their social and physical wellbeing. It is in the later that she exceeds expectations and moves into the irreplaceable category.

Mrs. Steele leads an afterschool group that focuses on getting students outdoors. The Mountain Valley Outdoors Club (MVOC) is committed to "no child left inside." They go on hikes, play frisbee, golf, swim, rock climb, and even scuba dive. Mrs. Steele leads her students in these activities.

"Many lives are enriched due to this club," Keller said. "I do not think many young people in Idaho have been scuba diving, but the ones at our school can make that claim."

In order to ensure that all students get this opportunity, Mrs. Steele solicited community members so the club could provide activities for students who couldn't afford them. She is constantly on the lookout for activities that her school can do that has no cost involved, such as frisbee golf.

Mrs. Steele is also greatly committed to her professional growth. She devours books that might help her grow and understand her students more clearly. She is constantly looking for people to converse with so she can learn more and pass on what she has already learned.

Raya Steele in the News:
Two Idaho Teachers Nominated for National Award