Local teacher named to USA TODAY All-USA Teacher Team

Peggy Hoffman-Schmidt, Story and photo
Kaiserslautern District

***image1***Pamela Hall, second- and third- grade teacher at Kaiserslautern Elementary School has been named one of 20 members of the USA TODAY All-USA Teacher Team.

Ms. Hall is one of 16 individuals and four instructional teams honored by USA TODAY. The winners receive trophies and share $2,500 cash awards with their schools. Each teacher receives $500.

The All-USA Teacher team is open to active, full-time, certified teachers and instructional teams teaching kindergarten to 12th grade at a public or private school in the United States or its territories, or Department of Defense schools overseas.

“We’re pleased to honor these remarkable teachers who enhance education with initiative, enthusiasm and insight. They make a real difference for their students, schools and communities,” said Ken Paulson, USA TODAY editor.

Winners were chosen from teachers nominated across the country. Judges consider how well teachers define and address students’ needs and the impact they have on student learning.

Ms. Hall shares her passion and belief in her profession by quoting Emma Goldman, Russian-born American lecturer and activist.

“No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.”

“She is the type of teacher kids never forget,” explains Dr. David Markewitz, former principal of Kaiserslautern Elementary School. “Pamela Hall teaches individuals. Her enthusiasm, energy, skill and sense of what each child needs are the underpinning reasons why she can reach each child, regardless of who the student is. I have seen her stretch autistic children, severely disabled students and gifted students — all students. All children flourish under her care. I have seen her work with parents, explaining student progress by showing work samples, what these samples indicate, and what she plans to do next to help the child grow as a learner. Her teaching is targeted. And, she can communicate precisely and with sensitivity to parents.”

Dr. Markewitz worked with Ms. Hall for five years and nominated her for the All-USA Teacher Team. Ms. Hall is also a former Presiden-tial Award Winner for Excellence in Teaching Math and Science.

Lyle Sullivan works with children from Ms. Hall’s classroom.
“Her students always stand out because they are so polite. Pamela has such high expectations for every child and treats every child with such great respect every day, that this modeling translates to children being respectful of each other and other adults,” said Mr. Sullivan.

Many teachers across the Kaiserslautern District, as well as in other Department of Defense Dependent Schools districts, visit Ms. Hall’s classroom to watch her in action.

Professionals always leave the classroom after an observation with a wealth of ideas and satisfaction. Hall has not only affected each child in her classroom, but also, through staff development, affects the children of many teachers in many classrooms.

Hall is the first DoDDS teacher to be selected for this honor. Fifth-grade teacher Betty Brandenberg Yundt of Department of Defense Educational Activity’s Walker Intermediate School, at Fort Knox, Ky., is the only other DODEA teacher selected since the inception of this award.