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 seventh annual Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching. This year’s winners include a teacher from a remote fishing island off the coast of Alaska, another from rural Idaho and two teachers from the Treasure Valley.
The awards will be presented during Boise State’s winter Commencement ceremony, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, 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 made a major difference in the lives of their students and inspired them to pursue a career in teaching.
Each of the four teachers will receive $2,000 and their schools will receive $500 each. The 2017 Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching will be presented to:
- Shelby Beck, Craig High School, Prince of Wales, Alaska. Nominated by Joe Weyhmiller.
- Melissa Bollinger, Victory Middle School, Meridian. Nominated by Brittany Cebada.
- Jodie Mink, Cambridge Jr./High School, Cambridge. Nominated by Danielle Petitmermet.
- Jodi Wright, Adams Elementary School, Boise. Nominated by Shawna Thompson.
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 processing and 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 less privileged 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.
“Wendy and I established the Pesky Award for Inspirational Teaching seven years ago to express our belief for the important role teachers play in the future of our country,” said Alan. “We believe there is nothing more important in this regard than K-12 teachers of a child. It is our desire to do what we can to give the teaching profession the respect it rightfully deserves by establishing this award.”
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 is also 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 currently serves on the board of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. Wendy and Alan were honored in 2005 as Idaho’s Outstanding Philanthropists by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.