Pamela Atha is the fourth grade teacher at Van Elementary School in the small rural community of Van. Ms. Atha vividly remembers her own first lessons on her grandmother's front porch, and her choice of a career in education was shaped by her early realization that knowledge well-imparted can be both fun and exciting. An educator for sixteen years, Ms. Atha insists on the importance for teachers, especially for those in small and isolated communities, to serve as "social and moral leaders" beyond the confines of the classroom. She also reminds us that young students "love to see their teachers outside the classroom setting." It is equally important, according to Ms. Atha, for parents and the community to participate and share in the classroom setting; to this end Ms. Atha has developed several programs, including academic competitions, career days, and take-home science and math projects.
1978 Clarion State University of Pennsylvania, B.A.