Boise State University and Alan and Wendy Pesky, founders of the Lee Pesky Learning Center, will honor four outstanding and inspirational K-12 teachers and their schools with the sixth annual Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching.
The awards will be presented during Boise State’s winter Commencement ceremony, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, in Taco Bell Arena.
The Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching, which will be presented in collaboration with Boise State’s College of Education, recognizes K-12 teachers who make a major difference in the lives of their students through their passion and caring.
Each of the four teachers will receive $2,000 and their schools will receive $500 each. The 2016 Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching will be presented to:
Maura Goddard, North Junior High School, Boise School District, world studies. Nominated by Jacki Blackstone, elementary education.
Michael Casey Mattox, Renaissance Magnet High School, West Ada School District, Spanish, Arabic. Nominated by Jacqueline Woods, Spanish, secondary education.
Bill Lavin, North Star Charter School, fourth grade. Nominated by Cassie (Berggren) Moore, elementary education.
Nikki Clark-Vega, Boise High School, Boise School District, sports medicine. Nominated by Kirsten Youngblood, elementary education.
Alan and Wendy Pesky founded the Lee Pesky Learning Center in 1997, headquartered in Boise, 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 dysgraphia, a problem with organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page.
The center created in his name focuses on giving children and adults with learning disabilities, as well as those living in poverty, the tools they need to succeed in school. The center also works with teachers around Idaho to give them the updated tools and information on the latest developments in teaching techniques and research findings.
Alan Pesky was a founding partner and retired as president of the international advertising agency Scali, McCabe, Sloves. He previously served on numerous boards including those of Global Grassroots and the Brain Tumor Foundation, and currently serves on the board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities. He also is a trustee emeritus of Lafayette College and was a former trustee of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Wendy Pesky is the retired owner and partner of The Farmhouse Collection Inc. She also was a vice president of creative services at the Avon Corporation. She also served on the board of the Sun Valley Center of the Arts. Wendy and Alan were honored in 2005 as Idaho’s Outstanding Philanthropists by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
“Wendy and I established the Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching six years ago to express our belief in the important role teachers play in the future of our country,” said Alan. “We believe there is nothing more important than the role of the K-12 teachers who establish the foundation for a lifetime of learning. It is our desire to do what we can to give the teaching profession the respect we believe it rightfully deserves by establishing this award.”