Lea Bouton: Outstanding Teacher Earns Accolades from Students, Community

      Lea Bouton, a chemistry and engineering teacher, is known as a hard strict teacher here at Dimond. But that’s what earned her the honor of Teacher of Excellence in 2017-2018 school year.

      Bouton has changed lives here at Dimond.  

      Taylor Johnson, a senior at Dimond, has taken two of Bouton’s classes and said, “Mrs. Bouton has made me a better person.”

      Bouton came from an exemplary background of receiving a full ride scholarship to college at a prestigious university.

      After graduating from University of San Diego on her full ride, Bouton went to work on the USS Boxer before going to Nuclear Power School.

       This is where she met her husband, who is also a nuclear engineer with a specialty in submarines.

      After seven years of active duty, Bouton and her husband decided to head home to Alaska with their oldest child. Since returning to Alaska, she has had another son and a daughter.

     It was at University of Alaska Anchorage that Bouton received her Masters in teaching and became an engineering and chemistry teacher at Dimond.

        Serving in the Navy and becoming an inspirational teacher has given Bouton many opportunities, such as riding with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and earning BP Teacher of Excellence.

     Max Addington, a Dimond senior, said, “Mrs. Bouton taught a rigorous course but made sense of the difficult material. It was well deserved for her to be selected.”

     Prior to take-off day, June 27, Bouton received an email with details of her exciting day.

     She had to eat certain foods and not eat others. She had to dress in certain attire. All of that made sense but made Bouton even more anxious.

      Before being confirmed, she had to fill out lots of paperwork. The paperwork included some general information. She also had to write a full biography about her background.  

      Then she had to be medically cleared to fly. This included making sure she would physically fit in the tiny space.

      Next, she had three hours of briefing and talking to a public affairs representative.
     Then came the outfit, which took an hour to get fitted into.  

     Of course, safety was most important. She talked with a specialist about safety and watched a video as well. She learned about the emergency evacuation with a parachute.

      Finally, Bouton met with the pilot to learn the maneuvers they would be performing in the jet.

     She was in the jet for an hour itself. While in the jet, her family along with other community members watched from the ground.

        Take-off was the hardest part of the flight for her.

        “It was a lot to take in all at once,” Bouton said.

       Also while taking-off, Bouton said that was the only time she had a realistic idea of how fast she was traveling.

          The reason for this is because you go from being on the ground to being perpendicular to it.                     

She remembers looking back and just seeing the ground getting farther and farther very quickly. It was shocking how fast they initially started off.

      During take-off, it is common for the passenger to black out or vomit. Bouton was very impressed with herself that she did not do either.

         Another risk the passenger faces is flipping upside down after the jet slows down. Bouton did not want to go through this, and luckily she did not.

     Bouton recalls that it was a ton of fun. She considers herself very fortunate to have this amazing opportunity.