Boise State’s College of Education and the Lee Pesky Learning Center will continue the annual tradition of honoring inspirational K-12 teachers with the Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching at the university’s winter commencement ceremony on Dec. 18. This year marks the 11th year the award will be presented.
James LeDoux, an English teacher from Renaissance High School in Meridian is one of the four recipients this year. Former student Camryn Halford nominated LeDoux for his outstanding mentorship while she was in his Early College Literature class. Inspired by LeDoux’s passion for literature, Halford developed her own passion for reading and writing that led her down a different path than what she’d been planning on for college. Originally focused on becoming a nurse, Halford changed course after LeDoux recognized and championed her gift for language arts, which inspired her to become a teacher herself.
Halford’s subsequent experience as a teacher candidate at Boise State has given her insight into and appreciation for LeDoux’s inquiry-based approach to teaching, which she uses as a model for her own approach to teaching.
“Mr. LeDoux is a teacher who is absolutely and unconditionally committed to an inquiry-based approach in the classroom,” said Halford. “As such, Mr. LeDoux stands apart from other teachers in his community because of his level of engagement and sincerity. I found myself more motivated in his class than I did in any other because of the empowerment that came with making my own discoveries with the content.”
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 words 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.