Gov. Cecil D. Andrus remembered for commitment to education

Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 19:33:33-04

The passing of Governor Cecil D. Andrus was wide-felt in the education sector, both in K-12 and higher education.

At the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, advocates say they'll continue advancing the leagacy issues of Andrus. That includes the wise use of environmental resources and public lands, proper funding of education, and the cultivation of leadership from all segments of society.

"He was governor when we became a four-year university," said Dr. John Freemuth, Executive Director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy. "His papers are here, but for my friends at other universities, he cared about them, too."

Freemuth says at this year's Women and Leadership Conference, the guest speaker will be a leader in the education field, in honor of Andrus' commitment to education.

And at Cecil D. Andrus Elementary School in Boise, the flag flies at half staff. 

His namesake school opened in the West Ada School District in the fall of 1997, and was named after the Idaho legend for his work to advance education in Idaho.

The school has a 20th anniversary celebration planned for mid-September, where Governor Andrus will be remembered. 

Andrus said himself, advocating for public schools and early childhood education was at the top of his "to do" list as governor. 

In his second tenure in the job, Andrus established kindergarten. In 2013, he received the Children's Champion Award from Idaho Voices for Children for increasing public school funding and fighting to make social services accessible to more children.

"Today, over 20,000 Idaho kindergartners are going to school and getting that jump start on their education because of Governor Andrus," said Lauren Necochea, Director of Idaho Voices for Children. 

During his acceptance speech, the influential governor said he considered the establishment of public kindergarten to be the top achievement of his four terms as Governor of Idaho.