Teacher (sixth-grade reading and study skills) and activities director, South Hills Middle School, Twin Falls

A social work job opportunity for David Palmer’s wife prompted the couple to move to Idaho sight unseen in 2014.

“Her job was downsized at the hospital she worked at,” Palmer said. “We decided we were ready for an adventure.”

They figured they could try living in Idaho for a year or two. If it didn’t work out, Palmer said, “we could move on with very little loss.”

Since then, they’ve put down roots. “It’s been good to us,” he said. They bought a house and had their first child, a baby girl, three months ago.

Palmer has a Purdue University degree in secondary education, with a social studies and English emphasis. This will be Palmer’s seventh year as a teacher. For two years he was a social studies and English teacher at Filer Middle School.

He applied at South Hills in March.

“I had a great gig going in Filer,” Palmer said. “I was very selective, and this was really the only district I applied to work in.”

In Filer, he said, it was “really cool to know every student’s name.” But he had worked in a larger school district — Lake Central in northwest Indiana with more than 14,000 students — and missed the opportunities for staff and students in a larger district.

Plus, working at a new school is appealing.

“It’s not every day you get to build everything from the ground up,” Palmer said.

“I’m excited to be a part of something new,” he added. “It’s going to be nice to have a new set of responsibilities. I’m looking forward to the AD side of my job as well.”

Palmer coached eighth-grade girls basketball in Filer and did some coaching in Indiana, too. He took a break from teaching in Indiana to direct a YMCA branch for about a year.

“I have a sports administration background, but just not necessarily in a school,” he said.

Palmer said he took the YMCA position to “open up some doors,” but ultimately, it was his wife’s career that led them on a new adventure. “We knew Indiana wasn’t the place for us.”

—Julie Wootton

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