NJCTE recently established the Patricia L. Schall Visual Literacy Award. Please join us in remembering and honoring Pat by reading the following lovely remembrance, and, if you are able, by making a donation in her honor and in support of this award.
by Lisa Mastrangelo
The last time that I saw Pat Schall in person, she was wearing a floral headband and representing Mother Earth as we marched at the March for Science protest in New York City. By then, I had known Pat for nearly 20 years as one of my colleagues at The College of St. Elizabeth. That day at the march epitomized Pat for me—she was filled with both energy and drive and the desire to see people learn, to be educated, and to do what was right and good. We weren’t close friends at work, but I always valued her input, and had missed her when I moved on to a new teaching position. On the way home from the march, I remembered thinking that I had forgotten just how smart, how observant, how keen of mind, but also how funny Pat could be. She was also amazingly thoughtful. While she had an amazing sense of ethics, and truly believed in right and wrong, she considered many sides before making a decision. This was one of the main lessons that I learned from Pat as a new doctoral student just beginning to teach: listen, learn, decide, and if you see injustice, absolutely speak.
Pat’s impact on me seems minor in comparison to her impact on the many future teachers that she sent into the education world. She was a true teacher and mentor. She shaped the world of education for her students, and more importantly, she believed in them, mentored them, and remained their friend long after they graduated. She encouraged them to do their best as teachers, supported them in their teaching careers, and continued to mentor them as they moved into other career paths, in education and beyond. She celebrated their weddings, their children, and their pets (particularly their cats!). Nel Noddings once wrote that, “Education, by its very nature, should help people develop their best selves.” I cannot think of any educator who was more able or willing to do that than Pat.
Perhaps the greatest insult of Pat dying during the coronavirus pandemic has been our inability to gather to celebrate her life. Pat touched so many lives—so many teachers, so many students. So many of us were thrilled to see that NJCTE announced the Patricia L. Schall Visual Literacy Award, and we are equally as pleased to be able to donate to sustain it.