Sparkman teacher takes top honor
Kristie Busam Guest student writer Sparkman High School
The Madison County School System honored its Teacher of the Year at its annual awards program. This year's Teacher of the Year award went to Sparkman High Schools Pamela Gothart.
Earlier this month, Gothart learned of her award from the administrators at Sparkman.
"I am extremely honored," Gothart said. "Just to be chosen out of all the incredibly talented teachers is overwhelming."
Last semester, Gothart and her fellow teachers were awarded a grant to make the history teaching in the school system better. Gothart is not currently teaching students, but is teaching teachers around the county how to be more effective when teaching history.
"I was hired as a full-time person to improve teaching of American history," Gothart said.
When it came to Gothart getting the award, several steps were taken during the process of the competition. Applications are sent for each teacher, and then special selection committees evaluate and judge them. "The Sparkman selection committee chose me as the Sparkman representative for the award," Gothart said. "The committee at district level chose me, and next it goes to regional competition."
The award is not just any award. The award does come with some responsibilities. The Teacher of the Year must represent the school system at each level. That could mean going all that way to nationals.
"I am only a representative of the good teachers in Madison County," Gothart said. "I am not the best."
Throughout Sparkman, Gothart is well known and has made an impact on many of the students that she has taught.
"I agree that she should be Teacher of the Year – 100 percent," said sophomore Ben Lunn. "She was one of the greatest teachers that I have ever had."
Gothart has a great inspiration when it comes to teaching either students or teachers.
"I have a strong work ethic,"Gothart said. "If you are going to something, do it well."
When it came to teaching a class, Gothart's attitude helped make the class a success.
"She was kind and fun. She gave us a lot of activities," said junior Andrew Lueras. "It was not just busy work, we actually learned something."
Many of Gothart's students have only high praises and nice things to say when it comes to their teacher.
"She was fun and exuberant," Lueras said. "We felt at times that she wasn't only a teacher, but our friend."
Gothart's past experiences has helped to shape her into the teacher she needs to be for her students.
"I think that because of my educational background. I had a desire to reach students," Gothart said.
Some of the history students that were in Gothart's class were able to have a different kind of relationship with their teacher.
"She loved her students. Everyone was nice to her because she was nice to us," Lunn said. "We treated her with respect."
Gothart broke the barrier that exists between some teachers and students by creating a better environment for her students.
"It was a comfortable setting in her class," Lueras said. "She did not make us feel awkward, and we could actually talk to her."
Gothart has been able to reach some of her students and change their lives forever.
"Her class changed my perspective on history," Lunn said.