Adam Cotterell

News Reporter

Adam Cotterell returned to his home town of Boise, Idaho in 2007 after three years teaching university English in China. His plan was to teach high school drama and history, but in a move that almost makes him believe in destiny he took a part time job in Boise State Public Radio’s newsroom. He became a full time general assignments reporter in 2010. Adam's main focus is on covering education, but also enjoys doing all types of stories; from interviewing unique people to reporting on Boise's theatre scene.

Adam lives in Boise with his wife, daughter, and dog. He is also considered a pioneer in the art form abstract expressionist origami.


Terrorism Charges
11:02 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

U.S. Attorney: Kurbanov In Country Legally, Owned Explosives

Wendy Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A Boise man appears in federal court at 8:30 Friday morning on terrorism charges.  He was arrested Thursday in Boise at an apartment complex near Borah High School.

Wendy Olson is the U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho. She says the suspect is a national of the central Asian nation of Uzbekistan and legally in the U. S.

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Nampa School District
4:22 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

What’s Next For Nampa Schools After Superintendent Resigns, Teacher Postions Cut

Nampa elementary students
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School District voted Tuesday night to eliminate 27 teaching positions next fall. That’s the  latest cost cutting measure to overcome a more than $5 million deficit blamed on accounting errors.

But the state’s third largest school district has a way to go before it reaches a balanced budget next year. Adam Cotterell covers education and has covered Tuesday's  meeting. He talks with Samantha Wright about what’s next for Nampa schools.


Wright: Adam I understand it was no ordinary school board meeting.

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Nampa School District
4:56 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Nampa Cuts 27 Teaching Positions, Takes 18 More Off The Chopping Block

Scott Kido
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School Board voted Tuesday night to leave 27 teaching jobs unfilled next fall (15 secondary and 12 elementary.) The jobs are opening due to retirements and resignations. It’s the latest step in a year-long effort to overcome a $5.1 million budget deficit blamed on accounting errors. The cuts will result in larger class sizes. In fourth grade for example, average class sizes will increase from 26 students to 32 students.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
5:02 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Nampa School District Could Cut 50 Teachers

Tom Michaelson retired to Nampa after a career as a superintendent in California schools. He took the Nampa job after the former superintendent resigned in the wake of the budget crisis.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School Board meets Tuesday to discuss the next steps in overcoming a $5.1 million budget deficit.

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National Merit Scholarships
6:25 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Most Idaho National Merit Scholars Go To School In Boise Or Eagle

Thirteen Idaho high school seniors have won the prestigious National Merit Scholarship for 2013. It comes with $2,500 for college and a lot of bragging rights. Most of this year’s winners could get together on their lunch break.

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Presidential Scholars
9:17 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Two Idaho Students Named Presidential Scholars

J. Regan Bell, Presidential Scholar

This week the U.S. Department of Education released its annual list of Presidential Scholars. The award honors the highest achieving high school seniors in each state. Idaho’s 2013 Presidential Scholars are Josephine Minick of Centennial High School and Joseph Regan Bell of Boise’s Riverstone International School.

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Best High Schools
8:43 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Seven Idaho Schools Make Newsweek’s List Of 2013’s Best High Schools

The media team of Newsweek and the Daily Beast has released its annual list of the nation’s best high schools. Seven Idaho schools made this year’s top 2,000 list. Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy is ranked 89, the only Idaho school to crack the top 100.

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Nampa School District
9:05 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Nampa School Budget Hole Gets Deeper, Again

Students in a Nampa elementary classroom.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Nampa School District’s financial hole keeps getting deeper. The most recent figure for the budget deficit in Idaho’s third largest district was a little more than $5 million. But at a school board meeting Tuesday night district officials revealed they also owe another $1.2 million in building bonds. The money had been used for general operations instead of being paid back on time. 

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Labor Issues
9:04 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Rapidly Changing Idaho Laws Make Teacher Contract Negotiations Confusing

Luke Franklin is president of the Meridian Education Association.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Each year the state of Idaho sends school districts about $900 million for teacher salaries and benefits. This is the time of year when decisions are made on how to spend that. Many Idaho school districts are in contract negotiations with teachers unions now. But those negotiations are complicated by changes to the laws.

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Idaho Teachers
9:39 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Teachers Among Top 5 Groups Leaving Idaho

An elementary school class in Nampa.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

More teachers are leaving Idaho than people in other professions. That’s according to a report released earlier this month by the Idaho Department of Labor.

Of people who left Idaho between 2008 and 2011, 3 percent where K-12 teachers and 4 percent were college or university instructors. Both are among the top five groups of professionals leaving the state, with K-12 teachers at number four and college instructors number three.

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Treasure Valley Education
9:41 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Group Releases Report Card For Treasure Valley Education

Elementary students in Nampa learn math skills.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

The Treasure Valley Education Partnership this week released what it calls a baseline report card. The coalition of schools, businesses and nonprofits wants to “advance a world class education system” for the area’s children. Jake Alger with the United Way says before the group launched any projects it wanted to know what it was up against.

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Education Task Force
8:35 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Public Tells Idaho Ed Task Force To Increase Funding, Get Idaho Out Of Common Core

About 200 people turned out for the Education Improvement Task Force Public Meeting in Boise. Phoebe and Lizzie Smith (at right) spoke about the importance of funding and special education.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Education Improvement Task Force finished a statewide listening tour Thursday night in Boise. The group was created to recommend ways to improve the state’s schools after voters repealed an education overhaul last November.

Thursday night’s public meeting was well attended compared to some past meetings. About 200 people squeezed into the state capital building’s Lincoln Auditorium and 37 spoke. It lasted more than two and a half hours.

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Education Task Force
4:30 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Idaho’s Education Improvement Task Force Set To Wrap Up Listening Tour

Task force members wait for the start of first public meeting in Nampa earlier in April.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Task Force for Improving Education wraps up a series of public meetings Thursday in Boise. The task force’s final public listening meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at the state capital. 

It has been traveling Idaho for two weeks. The group’s goal is to put together recommendations for overhauling the state’s education system that can find broad support.

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7:22 am
Fri April 19, 2013

New Play Brings Voices From Boise's Iconic Downtown Hole To The Stage

Leta Neustaedter opens the play.
Adam Cotterell Boise State Public Radio

Boise residents speculated for a long time about a curse on the corner of 8th and Main in downtown. This valuable piece of real estate saw a building burn down. It spent years as a vacant lot then after a failed project, the downtown corner spent years as a hole in the ground. That hole had become a city landmark bordering on icon status by 2011.

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Nampa Financial Crisis
1:36 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Budget Crisis Strains Relationships In Nampa School District

Mandy Simpson teaches high school math and coaches golf in Nampa. She's also president of the Nampa Education Association.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It’s been a tough year in the Nampa School District after a $5.1 million budget shortfall surfaced last August. That has led to deep cuts including a near elimination of money for substitute teachers. Now tension between the district and the teacher’s union is growing.

Mandy Simpson teaches math and coaches golf in Nampa. She's also the president of the Nampa Education Association. She’s been in the district almost ten years.

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Task Force
7:55 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Education Task Force Hears Concerns During Nampa Forum

Credit Courtesy of the Idaho Statesman

Idaho’s Education Improvement Task Force has started a statewide tour seeking public comment. The group was put together by the State Board of Education. It's been meeting since January to talk about ways to improve Idaho’s education system. It kicked off a seven city public meeting tour Wednesday night in Nampa. About 60 people attended and 19 spoke. Fewer than a third of the members of the 31 person task force attended the forum. 

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4:04 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Idaho Education Task Force Starts State Tour For Public Input

Mike Rush, Idaho State Board of Education executive director speaking at the first meeting of the Task Force for Improving Education
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Task Force for Improving Education starts a whirlwind tour of the state this week. Members have been meeting since January to find education reforms with broad support. Governor Butch Otter asked the State Board of Education to put the group together after voters repealed a series of education laws last November. Now the task force wants public feedback.

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2013 Legislature
8:05 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Health Insurance Exchange Top Achievement Of Idaho’s 2013 Legislature

Idaho's House of Representatives applauds the end of the 2013 legislative session.
Credit Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Idaho’s 2013 legislative session is over. Lawmakers passed the last bills they were willing to tackle before noon Thursday.

In the last minutes of a legislative session lawmakers get in a weird mood. They give emotional speeches, recite poetry, a few senators even sang an original song about going home on the floor as the Senate wrapped up its final business

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2013 Legislature
11:22 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Idaho Lawmakers Pass A Schools' Budget And The Session Ends

The final gavel has come down and the 2013 Idaho legislative session is over. Both the Senate and the House passed the $1.3 billion public schools budget. That budget is nearly identical to the one the Senate rejected last week, a move that prolonged the session by nearly a week.

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Charter Schools
5:44 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Idaho Lawmakers Approve More Modest Charter School Law Overhaul

Idaho’s 2013 legislative session is expected to wrap up Thursday. Passing the public education budget has held lawmakers up. Wednesday another of the session’s big education issues cleared its final hurdle before heading to the governor’s desk. But the overhaul of the state’s charter school law is not what backers had hoped it would be.

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