Idaho District 26 Representative
Donna Pence
BIOGRAPHY

Donna Pence has been a 65 year resident of Idaho.  She was raised and educated in Richfield, attended the University of Idaho and graduated in 1964.  Donna taught classes as a graduate assistant at Idaho State University where she received her Masters in Education in 1966. 

While at the University of Idaho, Donna met Lew Pence from Mackay, Idaho and they were married shortly after their graduation.  Lew’s job with the Soil Conservation Service (currently known as Natural Resources Conservation Service) gave them the opportunity to live in the communities of Pocatello, Buhl, Boise, and Gooding.  Donna taught in the school systems in each of these communities.  Lew and Donna have three daughters:  Lynn is a Range Conservationist with the Bureau of Land Management in Cottonwood, Kim is a Wood Products Engineer who is currently a stay-at-home mom in Sandpoint, and Dusty is a Fuels Specialist with the Forest Service in Boise. 

Donna worked up to leadership roles in the Nature Conservancy’s “Thousand Springs Festival”, Idaho Education Association, Delta Kappa Gamma (a teacher’s society), Methodist Church, and Eastern Star.  Donna has had a lifelong commitment to providing sporting opportunities for girls.  She has established leagues, coached in both paid and volunteer positions, and tirelessly advocated for equal facilities and scheduling for girls in Track and Field, Basketball, Volleyball, and Softball.

When the family moved to Gooding, they purchased a 60-acre farm.  During the next ten years, Donna had the major responsibility for the operation of the farm.  In 1982, she returned to the classroom at Gooding Middle School and taught and coached there for sixteen years until her retirement in 1998.  Retirement was prompted by the need to assist with the development of their tree farm specializing in growing trees for landscape use.  Successful farms in these economic times are finding that developing specialty crops are critical to survival.  The lessons learned in the start up and continued operation of the farm gives her an appreciation of the marketing, financing, and labor problems facing small businesses in Idaho.

Donna and her family have cherished special times spent enjoying the natural resources found in Idaho.  They participate in a number of outdoor activities including; hiking, hunting, rafting, fishing, cross-country and downhill skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, and camping.  They enjoy a special relationship with natural resources both professionally and personally.  This relationship recognizes that while these resources are economically valuable for our state it is equally important to insure these same resources will be available for the use of future generations.  Sustainability should always be in the equation when making decisions concerning natural resources.

Donna was elected to the District 25B House seat in 2004 and is finishing her 5th term this year.  District 26 Legislators have a history of being available to their constituents.  Whenever a problem arises Michelle Stennett and Donna are contacted because their constituents know they make it a priority to listen and take immediate action to find solutions.  It has been a long time practice for them to spend time in the communities each fall before the Legislative Session and in the Spring after the session to keep the people informed about what will happen and has happened that Legislative Session.  They each send out weekly e-mail updates while in session.  Donna works for her constituents throughout the year not just during the Legislative Session in Boise. The fact that she is retired gives her the time to fulfill this responsibility. 

Donna’s  experience as an educator and an agri-business owner, and her personal interest in conserving natural resources critical to every Idahoan’s quality of life makes her uniquely qualified to represent the needs of the people of this district.

Here are some of Donna's accomplishments:

School
1.     20 year Career as a Teacher
2.    Coached Basketball, Field Hockey, Cross Country, Track and Field, Softball, and Volleyball on the Middle School Level
3.    4th District Coaches Association  Distinguished Service 1998

Idaho Education Association
1.    Gooding Education President (two terms)
2.    Negotiator (4 Years)
3.    Region 4 Council  (two years)
4.    Delegate Assembly (three years)

American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
1.    1968 - elected State Secretary
2.    1997 – Top fundraiser for “Hoops for Heart”
3.    1998 – Idaho Pathfinder Award given to women from each state who provided early leadership in sporting opportunities for girls.
4.    Served two terms on State Board of Directors
5.    2008 State Distinguished Service Award

Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Society
1.    President local Chapter
2.    Served on 4 State Committees (Chairman of 3)
3.    2001 – Served on Steering Committee for successful Northwest Regional Convention in Boise.
4.    Selected to attend Golden Gift Leadership Training U of Texas Austin.  One of 30 nationwide.
5.    State President –2011-13

Community
1.    Wrote $1000 grant from Women’s Sport Foundation to establish Gooding Spring Volleyball program.
2.    Nature Conservancy –Thousand Springs Festival’s volunteer coordinator 7 years.  This two day fundraiser for Thousand Springs Preserve on the Snake River uses 250 volunteers and artists to raise funds to keep preserve open.
3.    Gooding Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors  2 terms
4.    DKG – presenting in national convention 2014
5.    Thousand Springs Festival - volunteer each year

 
Legislative
1.      Five terms Idaho State House of Representatives
2.      Co-Chairman Idaho Legislative Sportsman Caucus
3.      Member of the Natural Resources Interim Water Committee 2005-present
4.      Elected to Legislative Council 2009
5.      Ranking member of Agriculture Committee 2009, Natural Resources and Education Committees
6.      2004-present: Serving on Board of Directors for Idaho Rural Partnership which promotes rural development in Idaho.
7.      2011: Appointed Idaho Democratic member Western States Forestry Task Force.
8.      Ad Hoc participant in Governor’s Sage Grouse Task Force  2012.
9.      Appointed member of Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education  2012
10.    Elected to Minority Caucus Chair 2013
11.  Appointed CSG River Governance Task force 2013

12.  State Department of Ed – Education Task Force  appointed 2014


 
   
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