Honoring education leaders
Along with the graduation ceremonies, Boise State presented the Silver Medallion — the university’s highest honor for service — to longtime Boise School District trustee A.J. Balukoff.
Balukoff’s ties to Boise State began 36 years ago when he and his wife, Susie, moved to Boise and quickly fell in love with the city and its “hometown university.”
A first-generation college student, financial limitations kept Balukoff from pursuing college opportunities until an anonymous donor gave him a scholarship to attend Brigham Young University. The generous gift enabled him to earn a degree and launch a life of service and a successful career as a businessman.
“You will never regret being generous,” he said. “It will be a source of joy and accomplishment in your life, it will earn you the respect of your community, and you will help students to learn a skill and be prepared to serve.”
The annual Pesky Awards for Inspirational Teaching were presented to four outstanding Idaho teachers. Ardent supporters of improved education and founders of the Lee Pesky Learning Center, Alan and Wendy Pesky funded the awards to recognize K-12 teachers in Idaho who “ignite a fire in students at some point in their life to set as a goal becoming a teacher and then lighting a similar fire in the lives of the children they teach.”
This year’s honorees are: Pat Absalonson, Lewis and Clark Middle School, Meridian; Sylvia Fine, Kuna High School, Kuna; Laurie Roberts, Timberline High School, Boise; and Juan Salamanca, Alturas Elementary School, Hailey.
Meet our commencement speaker
Ashley Potzernitz earned a double major in psychology and Spanish, with a minor in family studies — and finished with a 4.0 GPA.
Potzernitz challenged her fellow graduates to take risks and never lose the child-like ability to speak up against what they know to be wrong.
“Graduates, I encourage you to practice vulnerability and to make your voice heard,” she said.