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James Pignatiello (That Is, Mr. Pig), 2011 Teacher of the Year: Flagler Palm Coast High School

| January 13, 2011

jim james pignatiello flagler palm coast high school teacher of the year 2011 flagler county chemistry biology

Jim Pignatiello

To my students, parents, and colleagues I am better known as “Mr. Pig,” a name students speak with respect and pride, especially if they do well. Some parents, however, do have some difficulty using the name at first. Educated as a research Molecular Biologist/Biochemist, I earned gas money teaching seminars in science, theology and music. Those I taught kept telling me I should consider teaching because they loved the way I made complex concepts simple and interesting. I was having fun making a positive difference in the lives of my students. I gave it a try and 33 years later, I am still having a blast interacting with my students. Although it is a challenge to get my students to reach their full potential, it is worth all of the effort. One of the greatest rewards that keeps me going is when they come back from college so very proud of being able to keep up with the best in the world.

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Many admit that while they sat in my class they did many unkind things to me in their dreams. When they come back from college, I see a smile and get a hug as they now understand and appreciate what I did. As a teacher, students know that I will challenge every one of them to live up to the ideals of Ben Franklin and the words of Mark Twain who said, ‘I never let schooling interfere with my education.’ I strive for each student to develop an educated mind capable of authentic thinking and problem solving, applying material and not merely possessing it temporarily. My wife and I have two children. Our daughter, Krista, is currently studying in Germany, Poland and China to finish her Global MBA. Our son, Joshua, is finishing his degree in Biology and will start his Master’s degree soon. He plans to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Click on each teacher’s or employee’s name in the table below to go to his or her page.

2011 Flagler County Teachers and Employees of the Year, By School (Click on Each Name to Read the Honoree's Story)

Teachers of the Year
School or Location
Joan Blasingame
Old Kings Elementary School
Deborah Breeding
Bunnell Elementary School
Cara Cronk
Indian Trails Middle School
Heather Doutrick
Rymfire Elementary School
Agatha Lee*
Belle Terre Elementary School
Christina Miller
Buddy Taylor Middle School
James Pignatiello
Flagler Palm Coast High School
Maureen Stowell
Adult Education
Beverly Thompson
Wadsworth Elementary
William Brian Tuttle
Pathways Academy
Louise Wolfe
Matanzas High School
Employees of the Year
Dario Arias
Custodial Services
Liz Astuto
Wadsworth Elementary
Laura Cappello
Plant Services
Margaret Carcagente*
Belle Terre Elementary
Gillian Ceballos
Indian Trails Middle School
Christina Connors
Rymfire Elementary
Peggi Hammack (Koch)
Old Kings Elementary
Angela Harris
Food Service
Roberta Kalva
Buddy Taylor Elementary
Cindy Kyska
Pathways Academy
Veronica Maggs
Adult Education
Shelley Rashelle Martin
Government Service Building
Darise Anne Pagello
Flagler Palm Coast High
Anne Risley
Kathy Summerlot
Matanzas High School
Kimberly Turner
Bunnell Elementary School
(*) Winners of district-wide honors.

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