Teachers From All Around


Annaliese Naas, Staff Writer

Rick Anderson, Beth Letzig, and Brian Etchison are all from different places and lived very different lives before moving here to Rathdrum, Idaho. The way they teach is impacted by their personal experiences. 

Mr. Anderson is a teacher at Lakeland High School. Anderson moved here from Windsor, Cal., but he has lived in Oakland, S.F., and various suburbs of the Bay area. Everywhere he has been had an impact. “I think it helps shape the people that we are, good or bad.” He said. 

“I think of living here, that I am lucky to be here working at such a great place.”

That means if he’s having a bad day, He thinks of how it could be a lot worse if he was living in another place. 

When Anderson was looking at moving up to Idaho he said that he looked at Boise, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, then he came to CDA. 

He said what drew him to this area was that it had an airport nearby, low crime, affordable real estate, good schools, and was not on the other side of the country from his family.

Anderson said. “When I saw the average temperatures in the winter, they were similar to Tahoe, so I was sold. Rathdrum had affordable land, the Lakeland School district, and a small-town feel. Sold again.” 

He and his wife own a small ranch and raise cattle on the side and have room for a big garden. Anderson also considered the climate as well.“Summers are not too hot, they are just right.”

He brings a different perspective because he has done a lot of things and been to a lot of places. “I try to bring those experiences to my lessons, good or bad, scary or funny,” Anderson said.

Mr. Etchison, a teacher and Assistant principal here at Lakeland High school said that he previously lived in Waco, Texas. And is from Fort Worth, Texas. He thinks being somewhere else just provides him with a perspective that maybe someone else doesn’t have. 

“That’s not to say it’s a better perspective but I believe it allows me to see things from an outside perspective.” He said. 

When Etchison was deciding the factors of moving up here, he mentions that his wife’s family lives in the area, and after they had their son, they wanted to be where support would be. 

He mentioned that the scenery is breathtaking. “When I’m driving and see mountains in every direction I have to pinch myself.” He said. 

“I think being well-traveled, living in other places just reminds kids that there is a big world out there. I think it is good to go out and see other things.” He said if your heart tugs you back home then there is nothing wrong with that. 

Mrs. Letzig, a new teacher here at Lakeland said that she has lived in Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Idaho again. Her experiences living in different places has impacted the way that she teaches. “You really have to understand the community you’re teaching in, it really helps you understand your students.” 

She had lived in Post Falls about 30 years ago, and after that, she moved back to Montana and always wanted to come back here when her youngest graduated. 

“We got a chance to come back here and I got hired here.” She enjoys the people here in Idaho and the students, she said “I find them to be very real and very honest and very supportive of me as a teacher.” 

Her perspective she tries to bring is that she is not just a teacher but also a mother. “I have raised four teenagers myself, so I have a pretty good understanding of a lot of the things they’re going through and how I can help them inside and outside the classroom.”