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 virtual winter commencement ceremony on Dec. 19. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching.
Annette Haag, a government, psychology, leadership, senior project and economics teacher at Orofino Junior-Senior High School is one of the four recipients this year. She was nominated by her former student and Boise State teacher education senior Cynthia Guitron. Each recipient was surprised in their classroom by their principal and presented with a plaque. A video of the surprises will be played at Boise State’s virtual commencement ceremony December 19. Each teacher received $2,000 and their respective schools received $500.
Cynthia Guitron nominated Haag because she remembered her former teacher always going above and beyond for students and other teachers at Orofino Junior-Senior High School, often arriving early and staying late to be there for others.
“She was so involved in the lives of her students and genuinely cared about everyone in the school,” said Guitron. “I remember always seeing other teachers coming into her room asking for help, advice, or information on anything they needed.”
Now that Guitron is a teacher candidate, she recognizes how strenuous the profession can be at times and how much Haag truly cared for her students and their experience of school.
“It’s not easy to be a teacher, but Ms. Haag made class exciting, she created a community where everyone was happy to be,” said Guitorn. “Ms. Haag inspired me to become a teacher because of how much she loves her students.”
Alan and Wendy Pesky 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.