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Teacher Appreciation Week – Honoring Boise teacher Robin Sly through her memorial scholarship

Robin Sly
Robin Sly in her classroom.

Teacher Appreciation Week was first observed in 1984, 31 years after former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt proposed a day to nationally recognize teachers. Teacher Appreciation Week is now observed each year in the United States during the first full week of May.

This year, the College of Education honors outstanding teacher Robin Sly, who died unexpectedly in 2021. Sly taught in Boise elementary classrooms for 22 years after leaving the financial sector once she realized her true passion was for teaching.

As a teacher, Sly was particularly interested in understanding students she recognized as “twice-exceptional” – students with some learning challenges who were gifted as well. Sly was also dedicated to developing the next generation of outstanding educators by mentoring student teachers from Boise State in her classroom. In 2009, Sly was named the Idaho Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year, a prestigious honor recognizing teaching excellence in the state.

“Robin saw the potential in students when others may have seen impossibility and doubt,” Sherry Dismuke, College of Education assistant dean said. “She created a safe, nurturing space where all students could learn to be productive members of the classroom community.”

In her memory, Sly’s family and friends raised funds to endow a legacy scholarship at Boise State to support nontraditional elementary education students, who may be changing careers or raising a family while returning to school. The Robin Sly Memorial Teacher Education Scholarship reached its minimum endowment level last year and will be awarded for the first time to a student for Academic Year 2023-2024. To pay forward Sly’s passion for excellence in teaching to more students, the College of Education seeks more generous donors to help increase the endowment.

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation week, we hope you will consider a gift to the Robin Sly Memorial Scholarship or another teacher education scholarship in the College of Education. Gifts to teacher education directly impact future teachers, who must dedicate their final year in the program to their internship and student teaching semesters.

Contact Jennifer Neil for more information.