Shuler receives posthumous medal of achievement

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  • Marilyn Shuler speaks in Coeur d'Alene in 2007 about human rights to fifth-grade students from Atlas and Hayden Meadows elementary schools. (JEROME POLLOS/Press file)

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  • Marilyn Shuler speaks in Coeur d'Alene in 2007 about human rights to fifth-grade students from Atlas and Hayden Meadows elementary schools. (JEROME POLLOS/Press file)

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Idaho human rights leader Marilyn Shuler received the 2018 Idaho Medal of Achievement posthumously Monday from Gov. Butch Otter.

Shuler, who was 77 when she died in February, served for 20 years as director of the Idaho Human Rights Commission.

The Idaho Medal of Achievement was presented to the Shuler family, represented by Idaho Air National Guard Colonel Tom Shuler.

At a ceremony in the Idaho Capitol, Otter was joined in presenting the award by former Gov. Phil Batt, whose own career in public life was distinguished by his work on human rights issues.

“Marilyn Shuler is the unquestioned, all-time champion of human rights in Idaho,” Batt said.

The Idaho Medal of Achievement was created by executive order in November 2015 to recognize individual Idahoans for their “exceptional, meritorious, and inspirational” service to the people of Idaho. Otter chose Martin Luther King Jr.-Idaho Human Rights Day to make the announcement and present the award.

“I can’t think of a better day to honor Marilyn Shuler than on a day we recognize the sacrifices and accomplishments of those who advanced the cause of human rights through their own self-sacrifice and determination,” Otter said. “Marilyn was every bit a stalwart champion for human rights and a guiding light in our state for decency and compassion.”

The four-member Idaho Medal of Achievement Commission nominated Shuler for Otter’s final consideration.

“Marilyn Shuler was one of over 60 Idahoans who were under consideration for the state’s most prestigious honor,” said the Commission’s chair, former Idaho Chief Justice Linda Copple Trout. “We want to stress while this award sets a high standard, it is relatively easy for the public to nominate a deserving individual.”

Besides Copple Trout, the Medal of Achievement Commission includes Idaho Business for Education Founding Chairman Skip Oppenheimer, Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho board member Kirk Sullivan, and last year’s inaugural recipient, teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan.

Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining Co. provided the silver for the Idaho Medal of Achievement and is sponsoring the award. Each medallion is made of 99.9-percent fine silver and weighs 19.7 troy ounces and features a relief carving of the Idaho State Capitol on the front and the Idaho State Seal on the back.

“Hecla Mining Company is honored to be a part of this program...,” Hecla President and CEO Phillips S. Baker, Jr., said. “While it is given to a deserving individual, it represents the quality of all Idahoans.”

The public is encouraged to nominate deserving individuals for the 2018 award. To make a nomination, visit gov.idaho.gov/achievement.html or send a nomination by mail to: Office of the Governor, State Capitol, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720. The deadline for nominations for next year’s award is this coming March 31.

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