Patricia Ann “Pann” Baltz
School: Camino Grove Elementary
District: Arcadia Unified School District
County: Los Angeles County
Region: Southern California
Grade: Elementary School
Subject: Multiple Subjects
Award Year: 1993
Now retired, Patricia Ann “Pann” Baltz, (1993 CATOY) thinks daily about the incredible privilege she experienced teaching various grades in Arcadia USD. A series of strokes after her first two years of teaching interrupted Pann’s lifelong dream of teaching. Open heart surgery in 1979 gave her new hope of returning to the classroom she loved.
AUSD demonstrated their belief in her teaching ability, offering her a full- time position. For the next twenty years, Pann taught grades 3 through 6, daily looking forward with her students to new discoveries, challenging activities, and learning from spectacular failures as well as meaningful successes.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Pann served as a Master and a Mentor teacher, Science Advisor, and teacher of the gifted program at Camino Grove. She organized Gold Rush Days for all the 4th grade classes, Colonial Days for fifth grade classes, and a yearly Science Fair for the entire school. Pann became known as “Sit and Deliver” when a ninth stroke threatened to derail her teaching career again. Determined, she returned to her classroom six weeks later in a wheelchair. Imagine her surprise when AUSD selected her as their 1993 Teacher of the Year, followed by her selection as 1993 CATOY.
Pann’s selection as Disney’s 1993 American Teacher of the Year made it possible to fulfill a dream born during her experience as CATOY at International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. With her Disney award money, Pann and her husband, Bill, created the “Mission Possible” Scholarship, sending teachers and students from AUSD to Space Camp each summer.
Now, Pann volunteers as READing Paws Coordinator where students read to dogs weekly at the local Library. She also teaches women’s Bible studies and helps with Vacation Bible School, daily thankful for God’s gift of life.