2022 Award Presentations
For the 2022 awards, two mentor teachers who also serve as liaisons-in-residence for Boise State Teacher Education were selected. These teachers serve and make positive impacts on: 1) their classroom and school, 2) Boise State teacher candidates, and 3) Boise State teacher education programs.
Loren Bailly, learning coach at Taft Elementary School in Boise, Idaho.
Bailly has been part of the Boise School district for over 28 years. She is currently serving as the learning coach, switching from her own classroom to student-centered learning for all classrooms at Taft. Previously, she taught for 15 years at Taft while also serving as a mentor teacher and liaison-in-residence for Boise State Teacher Education.
Bailly says she became “truly inspired to continue my pursuit of becoming a teacher through the love of learning passed on to me through teachers in my life.” Bailly’s mom is both a former teacher and professor in the College of Education, and Bailly grew up hearing from her classmates about the impact her mom had on their learning. Bailly says, “I knew how amazing she was, but hearing it from my peers and how much they loved learning from her was one more push for me to continue on my journey to become a teacher.”
Taft Principal, Tim Lowe, said Bailly has “mentored dozens of student interns and student teachers that completed their professional year at Taft.” Lowe continued, “Much to her credit, nearly all of them are currently teaching classrooms of their own. Her guidance and support were invaluable to those students as they navigated their early experiences in the classroom and learned their craft.”
Rich Smith, 6th grade teacher at Garfield Elementary School in Boise, Idaho.
Smith spent 20 years working in the semiconductor industry, but always felt a pull towards teaching. Ten years ago, he made the switch to teaching and loves everything about the classroom and working with students. He has taught at Garfield Elementary for the last two years, four years at Whittier and four years in Nampa.
Smith says he was inspired to become a teacher because he was the kid “who was labeled ‘at-risk, low performing, a trouble-maker, who was never going to amount to anything’ and it was a teacher who finally made the effort to get to know me, to show me that there were other options available to me, who saw me as an individual and not as the label that was placed on me.” He wants to be the teacher who does that for other students who are labeled and underestimated.
Boise State student teacher, Cason Zehntner, said of Smith, “In my journey of becoming a teacher, he has always supported me by looking at my strengths as being just as important as my weaknesses. He always pushed me to be better and to take in the experience of being a teacher candidate.”
Smith loves teaching and says, “At the risk of sounding overly romantic I get to do the best job in the world. I get to work with amazing students, both in 6th grade and at the university level who embody the best things in this world and life. I get to work with Boise State teacher candidates and see the results of their hard work and I get to celebrate with them, cry with them when things are not going well, but always connect and build with them towards the future. What other job in the world lets you do that?”