1982 Reunion

The class of 1982 got together on Saturday, August 8, at Mary Corson’s home to celebrate 40 years since graduation. Good food and laughter, life stories, hilarious made-up statistics, and memories of the past were shared. So much fun – they may not wait another 10 years to get together again!

Food Service Update


Because Castleford School District operates under a Provision Two Program, breakfast will continue to be free for all students. In order to qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, families must fill out an application. Families who don’t qualify will have to pay for lunch. Please address questions to food-service supervisor Elaine Hape.

Castleford School District is an equal opportunity provider.

Spanish-Speaking Specialist Mrs. Smothers

Mrs. Sonia Smothers joined Castleford’s staff in the middle of last year and will be continuing as a bilingual paraprofessional in the 2022-2023 school year. She was born in Mexico but lived the majority of her life in Bakersfield, California. She was widowed after a twenty-seven-year marriage to Russell Searcy and in 2018, she moved to Idaho with her third husband Ron Smothers.

Mrs. Smothers has had a variety of careers, from working in a sandwich shop to managing a large Flying J Truck Stop restaurant with over 1,000 employees. Occasionally, Hollywood celebrities would stop at that restaurant, where she would interact with them. She has also been employed in the accounting services division of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and for the Idaho Department of Labor. 

Although she hadn’t taught in a school environment prior to last year, she has taught ServSafe classes in personal finance, English, and Spanish for over fifteen years. Governor Little encouraged state employees to help out in the school system, which provided Mrs. Smothers the push she needed to seek a better career. “I wasn’t happy at the Department of Labor, so I switched jobs.”

Castleford School District places value on bilingual staff members, which is what drew Mrs. Smothers to Castleford. She is looking forward to this coming school year. “I’m excited about my new classroom! Thank you, Chuck and Dena!” Her goal is to help students fully develop their conversational English skills. She has three adult children and maintains a healthy lifestyle.

Buena Suerte, Señora Smothers!

Ms. Merrick Makes a Move

Ms. Rebekah Merrick is joining the teaching staff at Castleford School District. She’ll be teaching music to elementary students and theater arts to secondary students. Ms. Merrick graduated from Shoshone High School in 2012 and then attended the College of Southern Idaho, studying theater. 

In 2016, she moved to Los Angeles, but big-city life was not for her. After a year, she said goodbye to LA and hello to Hagerman, where she worked as a lifeguard at Thousand Springs Resort. In 2018, she was hired as a paraprofessional at Castleford Elementary. “I quickly fell in love with the town and community and met some of the most amazing teachers and coworkers.” This experience with education convinced her to complete the Elementary Education bachelor’s degree program at Western Governor’s University. 

When it came to job hunting, “staying in the Castleford School District was my number-one priority,” she says. She approached the district administration with the idea of implementing a theater position in the middle school and high school. “I was ecstatic when administration agreed, and I was given the title of Fine Arts Teacher for K-12. It seemed like the universe was granting me my dream job that I hadn’t even realized was a possibility.”

Ms. Merrick’s goals for this coming year include gaining experience working with older students and exposing younger students to how fun and empowering theater can be. “My goal is to create a classroom that is project-based and hands-on for all my students.” 

In her personal time, Ms. Merrick pursues a variety of hobbies and interests – from crafting to thrift shopping and from kayaking to creative writing. She recently learned how to embroider chainmail! Her family is populated with teachers, coaches, school psychologists, and principals. She has a border collie named Hooper, a cat named Tilli, and a gecko named Brutus. 

Good luck in your new position, Ms. Merrick!

Welcome Mr. Allen!

Mr. Jamie Allen

Mr. Jamie Allen is joining the Castleford crew! The Buhl native is not new to education: he has worked as a behavioral paraprofessional at Filer High School and has taught elementary PE in Buhl and Twin Falls. His teaching certificate is for K-12 Physical Education, but he’ll soon be adding a History endorsement. 

Mr. Allen will be teaching social studies and PE to Castleford students. Some of his goals for the year are getting to know the students and helping them become life-long learners in the subjects that interest them. “I’m excited for a new opportunity to meet new students and work with new teachers and administrators. I am really excited to be coming to a smaller school where I can help continue a tradition that is very important to the community of Castleford.”

Please help us welcome Mr. Allen to our staff!