Sterling Silver Award

Tim Straw

Tim Straw

Welding Technology Instructor
Trades and Industry Division

Employee of the Month


“Tim Straw is the best teacher I have ever had and all my classmates will say the same. Tim is a very hands-on teacher who is always willing to work one-on-one with all his students all day long. He is very approachable, whatever we need to ask him. Whether we need him to show us how to do it again, help set our machine up again (because we forgot... again), watch us weld because we just might not be doing it quite right, or just asking the same trivial question for the fifth time that day. With every one of his students doing this nearly all day, it always surprises me how well Tim manages to seemingly be everywhere at once. He is always there to help and give advice about problems inside the class and just with life in general. I can tell he genuinely cares about us all. He is always looking for ways to improve the program so we get the best experience out of the program possible. He also actively searches around the community to try to bring in work for us so we get some real-world experience with welding, fabrication, and interacting with clients.

“Tim is a talented, knowledgeable instructor with a passion for both teaching and welding. This passion has rubbed off. Before this class, I had never touched a welder and now I love it and I can't wait to get out there and work. He is an inspiring role model that motivates each and every one of us to be our best. He constantly encourages us to push the limits of our abilities and improve on them. He makes the shop like a real work environment to try to prepare us for entry into the workforce. Doing this makes him a strict teacher (which is great). He will jump our case if we are slacking off in class or if we are absent/tardy. At the same time, he is also very understanding and flexible whenever we have a problem. He is always fair with every student.

“If I knew about the Sterling Silver award sooner, I would have nominated him every month since the start of the year. He is not just my teacher; I feel I can also call him my friend.”

Robert Fawcett, Student


“Tim is always willing to help others with projects. He has built multiple bike racks, benches, etc. for groups on campus and civil organizations. Tim truly cares about his students and works with them to make them as successful as possible when leaving his program.”

Shane Stockham, - Industrial Mechanic/Millwright Instructor - Trades and Industry Division


“I’ve worked with Tim for several years now to promote his Welding program and he’s always been fantastic. Every year, he and his students are out in the community creating projects for the public. They’ve made bike racks for parks, artwork for downtown, and storage units for the Post Falls Food Bank, among other projects. Tim and his crew never ask for anything in return. Tim’s class transcends a standard welding class. He teaches his students civic responsibility as well and they respond to that. It’s evident that they respect his eager willingness to go above and beyond and it’s reflected in the high quality of their work.”

Tom Greene, Communications Coordinator - Communications and Marketing


“Tim brings great enthusiasm and passion to the learning environment. He is dedicated to his students’ success. You often find Tim beaming with a smile on his face while interacting hands-on with his students. I am so pleased to hear a student has recognized his commitment to their success!”

Kassie Silvas, Dean of PTE and Workforce Development - Aerospace, Dean of Outreach and Educational Innovation - Dual Credit Program, Tech Prep, NIC at Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry Center, Dean of Career, Technical, and Workforce Education - Career and Technical Education


“This is a wonderful recognition of Tim’s contribution to technical education at NIC evidenced by the students. I have known and worked with Tim Straw for nearly five years and realized that he is an anomaly among technical educators that have entered the teaching field with trade experience. Tim is an example of a devoted educator, with such commitment and passion for teaching at this institution that he achieved his bachelor’s and master’s degrees ... all while teaching full time at NIC. Tim poses a unique blend of real-world trade experience enhanced with a higher education degree focused on technical education practices, leadership, and administration. I know Tim feels under-utilized with his unique skill set, and would love the opportunity at some administrative experience at NIC ... Hint, hint ... ;) ;)”

Steve Schlauch, Automotive Technology Instructor - Trades and Industry Division