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Liz Batey, 2019 Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching recipient

Boise State University’s College of Education and the Lee Pesky Learning Center will continue the annual tradition of honoring inspirational K-12 teachers at Boise State’s winter commencement ceremony on Dec. 21.

Liz Batey from Riverglen Junior High School in Boise, is one of the four recipients, and was nominated by Gabrielle Plaschka. The awardees will be recognized on stage during the winter commencement ceremony. Each teacher also will receive $2,000 and their schools each will receive $500.

During a difficult period in her middle-school life, Batey’s former student Plaschka joined the girls’ choir lead by Batey.

“I grew up singing, but I never had technical training,” Plaschka said. “Ms. Batey taught me everything from how to read music to how to combat stage fright. I found a safe place in that choir room where I was no longer lonely or broken. I was given the guidance I needed to find my voice.”

Now a pre-service teacher herself, Plaschka remembers how Batey always made things fun for her music students, made everyone feel included and validated, and how much all her students admired her as a teacher. Ten years later, Plaschka is still inspired by Batey’s passion for teaching.

“She instilled in me a passion for music that I carry to this day,” said Plaschka. “I can only hope to become half the teacher Ms. Batey is someday.”

The Peskys founded the Lee Pesky Learning Center in 1997 in honor of their son Lee, who passed away in 1995 at age 30 from a brain tumor. As a child, Lee had to learn skills to overcome processing dysgraphia, a problem with organizing letters, numbers and works on a line or page. The nonprofit center, headquartered in Boise, serves mainly children and some adults with learning disabilities, as well as those from economically challenged homes. The center also provides educational services for Idaho teachers.

To see previous recipients and learn more about the awards, click on the link below.

Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching