The fifth annual Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching has recognized four distinguished K-12 teachers who have made a difference in the lives of their former students: Sheryce Davis, Rich Lapp, Mary McGuire and Brooke Roy.
The PAIT is the only award known of its kind that recognizes K-12 teachers for the inspirational work they do. Alan and Wendy Pesky, founders of the Lee Pesky Learning Center, created the award in conjunction with the College of Education. Boise State teacher candidates in the graduating class of fall 2015 or spring 2016 nominated former teachers who have inspired them.
The awards will be presented during Boise State’s Winter Commencement ceremony, beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19, in Taco Bell Arena. Alan and Wendy Pesky will honor the four outstanding and inspirational K-12 teachers and their schools. Each of the four teachers will receive $2,000 and their schools will receive $500 each.
The four recipients of the 2015 Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching are:
Sheryce Davis, Owyhee Elementary School, Boise School District; 5th and 6th grade general education teacher. Nominated by Amber Bigelow, who said, “After years of frustration and feeling like we couldn’t help our own daughter, Mrs. Davis looked at us at our daughter’s 3rd grade parent teacher conference and said she would be an advocate for our daughter as long as she needs it, even into college. I cried the whole way home from that life-changing meeting.”
Rich Lapp, Timberline High School, Boise School District; 10th-12th grade choir teacher. Kara Brocksome nominated Lapp and said he pushed his students to be better every day. “He taught me that caring and patience is key to being a good teacher. He led with love and high expectations that showed his students that he cared about our success as students and as future citizens of the community.”
Mary McGuire, Horizon Elementary School, Boise School District; Reading specialist. Stephani Pickkett nominated McGuire and said, “It was during her class that I understood that an education could never be taken from you, and that an education would be the only thing that could help you rise above your circumstances. I knew then that I would become a teacher.”
Brooke Roy, Rocky Mountain High School, West Ada School District; 9th-12th grade psychology, English teacher. Lauren Denny nominated Roy and said she wants to emulate the enthusiasm Roy brought to her classroom. “Now on the other side of education, I see her methods and understand why they were effective. I love the way she was able to go the extra mile for her students.”
Alan Pesky said the award was created in response to national education reform.
“Wendy and I established the Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching five years ago to express our belief in the important role we feel teachers play in the future of our country. We believe there is nothing more important in this regard than the K-12 teachers of a child. It is our desire to do what we can to give the teaching profession the respect we believe it rightfully deserves by establishing this award.”
Alan and Wendy Pesky founded the Lee Pesky Learning Center, headquartered in Boise, in honor of their son Lee, who died in 1995 at age 30 from a brain tumor. As a child, Lee had to learn skills to overcome dysgraphia, a problem with organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page.
The center created in his name focuses on giving children and adults with learning disabilities, and those living in poverty, the tools they need to succeed in school. The center also works with teachers around Idaho to give them the updated tools and information on the latest developments in teaching techniques and research findings.
Alan Pesky was a founding partner and retired as president and COO of Scali, McCabe, Sloves, an international advertising agency. He currently serves on the boards of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, Global Grassroots and the Brain Tumor Foundation. He also is a trustee emeritus of Lafayette College and was a former trustee of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Wendy Pesky is the retired owner and partner of the Farmhouse Collection Inc. She also was a vice president of creative services at the Avon Corporation and the vice president of creative marketing at Parfums Stern. She currently serves on the board of the Sun Valley Center of the Arts.