The 2015 Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching (PAIT) recipients were honored at a luncheon at Boise State University following Winter Commencement on Saturday, December 19.
Each recipient received a $2000 award, and their schools received a $500 award (presented to the building principal). The PAIT highlights teachers who inspired their students to go on to become teachers themselves. Only Office of Teacher Education students in their junior or senior year at Boise State are eligible to nominate teachers for the annual award, and all four of this year’s honorees came from the Boise and West Ada school districts.
The award was presented to the following four teachers and their schools:
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.