Region 3 Coaches Brandon Bolyard, Jackie Miller, and Emily Morgan serve teachers in throughout the Treasure Valley and beyond. With Region 3 stretching from the Idaho/Oregon border to New Meadows Meadows to Idaho City to Mountain Home, these coaches work with urban and rural school districts and a variety of grade levels, content areas, and specialists. Read on for an introduction to our three Region 3 Coaches through the lens of Appreciative Inquiry Interviews.
An Appreciative Inquiry Biography of Brandon Bolyard (written by Region 1 coach Katie Graupman)
For this flower gardener, being an Idaho Core Coach has been a growing experience as he cultivates relationships with teachers to help them flourish. Brandon Bolyard finds connections between his fifteen years of classroom experience teaching English Language Arts and Journalism and his two years as an Idaho Core Coach. That connection? It’s all about supporting others through growth and helping teachers move forward on their own paths. In many ways, Brandon has been coaching all along, as a teacher, a newspaper advisor, a department chair, and now as a Region 3 Idaho Core Coach.
Brandon’s gift for helping educators grow stems from multiple strengths. Part of Brandon’s magic is that he helps teachers untangle their own thorny situations. He trusts them to find their own paths while providing the structure and understanding to help them explore possibilities and find the opportunities within the challenges. Understanding that a growth mindset is essential to creating lasting impact, Brandon enriches others’ lives by believing deeply in them.
One of the ways Brandon demonstrates his deep belief in educators is by harnessing the transformative power of story, helping individuals discover and become the authors of their own narrative. Sometimes the roots of the stories teachers share are grounded in painful experiences and sometimes in celebration. Brandon believes all of these stories are important to tell and to hear–to break down the silos of isolation, to give strength in recognizing the authentic struggle of teachers, and to celebrate the greatness of teachers. Authentic, thoughtful, playful and reflective, Brandon brings out the best in others by listening to their stories with empathy and kindness.
Brandon’s frequent coaching companion is Zora, his three-year old, domestic, short-haired, brown, black, and white Tabby. Zora enjoys inserting herself into virtual chats with other Idaho Core Coaches, meowing the moment he starts talking, poking at his computer screen as he crafts workshops and emails, jumping on bookshelves behind Brandon and batting baubles to the floor. Brandon alternately enjoys and suffers the companionship of this feline friend.
Brandon “can’t help but find joy” as he grows alongside his teachers. With patience and kindness, Brandon builds relationships of trust and understanding, delighting in helping each person achieve his or her full potential–to support and strengthen the vines of the most well established teacher veteran and to encourage new teachers to blossom and come into their own. Brandon understands it takes time and care to cultivate a garden that is beautiful and lasting.
Looking forward, Brandon hopes to expand his garden of work by mentoring new teachers in the Idaho Coaching Network and by building on the relationships with the teachers he works with already. Through this work, Brandon creates beauty, joy, and a legacy of lasting impact.
If you’d like to connect with Brandon, you can email him at ELALitCoach3c@sde.idaho.gov or follow her on Twitter at @bolyard.
An Appreciative Inquiry Biography of Jackie Miller (written by Region 5 coach Scott Corgatelli)
Jackie Miller is a coaches’ coach, quite literally. Not only does Jackie serve as a Region III Core Coach in the Idaho Coaching Network, she also serves to coach the coaches in the Idaho Coaching Network as part of leadership team for the Network. In both of her roles, Jackie encourages those under her care to work hard and to reach their professional and personal goals. While goal oriented and driven toward perfection herself, Jackie strives to strengthen individuals through connection, understanding, empathy, and goal setting. In all of her roles, Jackie makes it clear that she values creativity and embraces challenges as opportunities for growth. She strives to find growth opportunities in every situation. She does this as an extension of her own journey.
Jackie’s journey of becoming a coaches’ coach began by being Involved in the Boise State Writing Project where she met an incredible group of teacher leaders who modeled and mentored her. Her journey led her to becoming a teacher consultant with the Boise State Writing Project. As a teacher consultant, she led district and statewide professional development. As is so often the case, opportunities led to new opportunities, and during the first year of the Idaho Coaching Network, Jackie was invited to be part of the first cohort of teachers. As is her style, Jackie brought along a few colleagues to join her in the grand adventure. At the end of her second year in the program, A Jackie was encouraged to become a coach in the Network. Because of her passionate love for her students, she struggled to decide, but saw the chance to grow, so she applied. Jackie says that leaving the classroom was very difficult. She chose to take on the coaching position because of the opportunity to make a bigger impact on education in Idaho. In the course of her tenure with the Network, Jackie has fallen in love with helping teachers better themselves and watching them become consciously competent and efficacious in their role as educators. Of course Jackie can relate to her teachers because not that long ago she was where they are…
If you’d like to connect with Jackie, you can email her at ELALitCoach3a@sde.idaho.gov or follow her on Twitter at @jackie_mmiller.
An Appreciative Inquiry Biography of Emily Morgan (written by Region 2 coach Jill Diamond)
To Emily, life offers infinite opportunity to explore. Always open to adventure, she builds her orientation skills daily through tasks small and large: reading, writing, running, biking, and learning about life through the eyes of her two sons. When she is hours deep in endurance training, running the Boise foothills, she often calls on a running partner or a catalyst to help her persevere and finish strong. She offers this same support when she coaches; partnering with teachers to learn side by side, persevering through obstacles together. Most importantly, Emily supports others while they explore their internal landscape, guiding them to see the very best in themselves and their teaching practice.
Emily first explored the Idaho Coaching Network as a participant. She was excited to find like-minded teachers who loved what they do, who were eager to share successes and reflect on mistakes. She believes that teachers need a safe space, free of judgement, filled with humor and fun. No stranger to cultivating loving communities, she ensures the Idaho Coaching Network provides that sanctuary for teachers to explore their passions and out their frustrations and fears.
Above all, Emily values human connection. She listens with an open heart, always eager to hear possibility. She fills every conversation with her robust laughter, each learning space with her creative energy. Everyone in any room hopes secretly, that they will get to a chance to explore side by side with Emily.
If you’d like to connect with Emily, you can email her at ELALitCoach3b@sde.idaho.gov or follow her on Twitter at @emilymorgan2002.