A Fond Farewell: Founder of Coeur d’Alene Charter School Retires
After twenty-five years of teaching high-school English, Dr. Bill Proser found himself discontent with the status quo; seeing students capable of excellence who were disconnected and uninspired in the classroom environment. Something had to be done.
Opening a charter public school is no small undertaking, and no less so when it’s one of the first. Idaho’s charter school law was passed in 1998, opening the door for new ideas in education, and Dr. Proser stepped through that door in 1999 with Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy.
Dr. Proser saw clearly a need for more rigor; to challenge students in ways that teach work ethic and accountability, preparing students to be successful in college, and life beyond. His experience as an athletic coach inspired his approach to school: “Our idea is to take the same dedication and energy that we have in athletics and apply it to the classroom. We want to create an equal playing field where students compete for excellence.”
Crucial to this idea was the curriculum: an all-original college preparatory curriculum that includes an accelerated reading of literature and Latin in the seventh grade. But what is a curriculum without teachers? The success of the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy can also be attributed to Dr. Proser’s “recognition of the teacher as the most important element in education.” Guided by the rigorous curriculum, teachers are given the flexibility to practice their craft, and the results speak for themselves; CDA Charter Academy students consistently score above average on standardized testing.
While it is impossible to sum up an entire career in such a short space, Cindy Omlin, Executive Director of Northwest Professional Educators said it best:
“Through ardent, stimulating teaching and the persistent determination to establish and maintain a demanding college preparatory charter school, Bill Proser has launched a galaxy of stars noted for their scholarship, culture, and integrity who will make incalculable contributions to our world.”
Thank you, Dr. Proser, for your significant contribution to education in the state of Idaho. Best wishes for whatever is next!
Uncharted Charter: Another year, another snub for Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy
Meet Bill Proser, Founder & Teacher: Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy
Dr. Bill Proser: Always in Search of the Truth
Bill Proser American Star USDOE Nomination