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Teacher in the Spotlight: Valley View Elementary School

Updated: May 2

Julie Vinton

Julie Vinton from Valley View Elementary School

Julie Vinton, a cherished special education teacher at Valley View Elementary School (VVES), is preparing to retire after a fulfilling career dedicated to nurturing young learners.

Julie moved to Bonners Ferry in 1989, and over the last 35 years she has gotten married, raised her children and set down deep roots. She has spent the last 13 years working in the Boundary County School District (BCSD) and found more than just a home in this tight-knit community — she found a calling.

Julie's career in education is marked by her commitment to early childhood special education, a role she embraced with passion and purpose. She pursued her degree in elementary education with a special education endorsement through the Pathways to Accelerated Certification & Endorsement (PACE) program at Lewis-Clark State College.

"When I was hired, I had my K-6 Highly Qualified and Special Education K-12th grade endorsement," Julie stated.

"The preschool special education position was open, and I knew that my heart is with working with the littles."

Over her 13 years teaching in the BCSD, Julie has become a cornerstone of the educational community. Her inspiration to teach came naturally, influenced by a family of educators and a personal passion for helping children.

"I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was a little girl," Julie explained.

"I love working with the students and being the beginning start to their educational careers."

As Julie approaches retirement, she reflects on the joys and transformations she has witnessed.

"My last year has been full of changes," she noted.

"I am excited that the position has been filled for next year and that the new teacher is awesome."

However, the thought of leaving her students is bittersweet.

"I will miss the students and sharing those kinds of learning experiences so much,

" Julie said, reflecting on the joy of watching caterpillars turn into butterflies and eggs hatching into chicks with her students each spring.

Outside the classroom, Julie enjoys gardening, growing gourmet mushrooms, and spending time with her family. Her husband, James, and her children, including her daughter who is a special education teacher in Chicago, are central to her life.

"My favorite aspect of teaching in BCSD is the kids," Julie emphasized.

"They are Bonners Ferry kids; they like playing outside in all types of weather. They are joyful and eager to learn."

Julie's favorite thing about living in Boundary County is the natural beauty and the supportive community. "The river, the refuge, the woods — nature is so stunning around here," Julie noted, adding that the community's support is like that of a family.

As Julie Vinton looks forward to retirement, her legacy at VVES and within the BCSD remains a testament to her dedication and the profound impact she has had on countless young lives.

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