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Horizon honors Weaver as ‘Teacher of the Year’

MADISON – Pam Weaver is “2018 Teacher of the Year” for Horizon Elementary School.

In 1983, she started teaching in Corinth, Miss. The Weavers moved to Alabama in 1989, and Pam taught at Hazel Green Middle School.

Transferring to West Madison Elementary School, she taught first-graders until 1994 when she took a year’s maternity leave with her second child. Pam has taught first-graders since Horizon opened in 1995.

Pam earned a bachelor’s degree at Mississippi State University and a master’s degree from the University of Mississippi.

In spring 2018, the Leader in Me Stephen Covey organization awarded Lighthouse Milestone status to Horizon. “We’ve worked for this status for six years. I’ve served on the Lighthouse team all those years, previously as chairperson of Environmental Action Team and now as co-facilitator,” Weaver said.

In addition, Weaver has served as district first-grade representative, on Standards-Based Report Card Committee and Math Team.

“Teaching first grade is hard work but very rewarding. My philosophy of education has evolved. As life experiences have flavored my teaching, I hope I’ve grown to be a more reflective educator,” Pam said. “Educating first-graders is not cookie cutter (but) a spontaneous, messy, reflective, daily endeavor.”

In building “a classroom community of learners,” Pam promotes safety, friendship and acceptance.

Pam will never forget her first-grade teacher, Mrs. French. “I hated first grade. I cried every day. Mrs. French figured out what was troubling me. I was a ‘struggling reader.'”

Mrs. French visited Pam’s home and showed her parents how to practice sounds and reading with Pam. “It made a huge impact. I loved school from then on! Mrs. French was totally dedicated, determined and on my side. Every day, I try to be like Mrs. French … to go the extra mile or two with my own students.”

Pam’s husband, Marty Weaver, works as an engineer at Adtran. “My daughter, Katy Weaver, 25, has special needs. She was in James Clemens High School’s first graduating class. She also attended Bob Jones High School, where she was an honorary cheerleader and on the homecoming court her junior and senior years. Now she attends Ability Plus and participates in Miracle League baseball and Devoted to Jesus Sunday School class at Asbury United Methodist Church,” Pam said.

Their son Charlie, 23, graduated from Bob Jones and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. A baseball scholarship recipient, Charlie played with the Chargers for four years. He works for the Parks and Recreation Department in Franklin, Tenn.

Pam’s hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking, lifting weights and walking her dog, Petey. “I enjoy just being home. My elderly mother lives with us, and we take care of her. Several friends live away from Madison, so I enjoy talking to them on the phone. Daily devotions and writing in my journal are also important to me,” Weaver said.

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