Dane Beorchia gives his students more than knowledge—he instills in them a clear vision of their futures. A career and technical education (CTE) teacher at Highland High School in Pocatello, Idaho, Beorchia built the Health Professions pathway from the ground up and led the effort to become certified for dual enrollment with local universities and technical schools. He teaches both entry-level and advanced classes in a state-of-the-art classroom, making the most difficult content available to every student. With career days, industry expert guest speakers, college visits and opportunities for job shadowing—all held on Zoom during the pandemic—Beorchia brings his curriculum alive and helps students prepare for life outside the classroom. His classes are among the most rigorous at Highland, but the results speak for themselves. The program has more than doubled in size thanks to Beorchia, who teaches additional sections at night and online to accommodate all the students who want to join. A hundred percent of his students pass the Work Place Readiness and Medical Terminology Dual Credit exams, the two tests that measure the success of Highland’s program, and Beorchia’s students complete the CTE Health Professions pathway at a higher rate than surrounding schools.
When the pandemic emptied classrooms, Beorchia embraced online and then hybrid instruction, adjusting the curriculum so students could learn effectively whether they were in the classroom or not. Colleagues leaned on him for help with lesson plans and virtual instruction strategies. When one health professions colleague had a baby a week before the 2020-21 school year started, Beorchia helped her substitute get set up to teach online and then mentored her for the remainder of his coworker’s parental leave. He mentors new teachers and sits on the district’s Health Professions advisory board and CTE team, continuing to improve the program he helped create.
Beorchia builds lasting relationships with students, both in the classroom and as an athletic coach for football and, previously, basketball and golf. Students appreciate the academic, career and life advice he gives freely and return to confer with him years after they graduate. In addition to helping students identify careers in health, Beorchia also encourages them to consider another career path: education. Whatever they choose to do, Beorchia works tirelessly to deliver the best education possible and let students know how much he cares about them and their future success.
Beorchia earned bachelor’s degrees from Idaho State University in health education (2010) and secondary education (2011). He is also a certified children’s psychiatric rehabilitation specialist, pharmacy technician and personal trainer.
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