17, Pamela Akemon watched as her sister had to relearn the basic life
skills — writing, driving, and even eating. Her sister was in an
automobile accident, which left her sister paralyzed.
her push through every hurdle that stood in her way, and while she may
do things a little differently, she is able to do just about everything
she could do before,” Akemon said.
The adaptations and changes her sister had to make to her life left a profound impact on Akemon’s life.
drives an adapted vehicle, she is a beautiful artist, she works
full-time, and has never let anything hold her back,” Akemon said.
“Watching her reminds me that my students are capable of doing anything
they set their minds to, and just because I may have an idea of how to
get there doesn’t mean it is the only way to get there.”
preschool teacher at Johnson Elementary School uses the example of her
sister’s courage and strength and applies it to the way she teaches her
“When I see a student struggling with something, I look
at it as though I need to adjust something. I need to help them find
another method, another avenue, another resource to get them to where
they want and need to be before going into Kindergarten,” Akemon said.
the time Akemon was 5-years-old, she was passionate about education.
She would sit in her closet and play school with her imaginary friends.
“I loved school,” Akemon said. “As I grew older, my resolve to become a teacher grew stronger.”
her senior year at Scottsburg High School, she was given her first
official taste of being in front of the classroom by teaching French to
first-grade students at Vienna-Finley Elementary School.
“I loved it. At that point, I was convinced I wanted to teach first grade,” Akemon said.
At Hanover College, Akemon continued her refinement as a teacher and took every opportunity offered to work with children.
college, every opportunity I had in the classroom became the new grade I
wanted to teach,” Akemon said. “I worked as a volunteer at Girls Inc.
in Madison for two years, and my certainty that I was pursuing the right
degree grew. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the lives of
After graduating college, Akemon was unable to
immediately take a full-time job in the classroom because she was
pregnant with her son, Xavier, who is a seventh-grade student at
Scottsburg Middle School.
“I knew starting a school year on
maternity leave would not be beneficial to the students or the school
system,” Akemon said. “So, I signed up to sub at SCSD2.”
Akemon gave birth to her son and was a substitute teacher for less than
one year, she was approached by the special services director about the
teacher of record position for the special services preschool. As the
preschool teacher, she worked in the mornings and was substitute
teaching in the afternoons at Scott County School District 2. Just three
months after taking the job, she was offered the supervisor position at
“I fell in love with my job. I was responsible
for these wonderful, little children who had individualized needs,”
Akemon said. “My job was to work with these students, help them grow,
develop, and reach their potential. Some of the students I have for
three years, some only two years, but every one of them steals my
Four years later, Akemon’s preschool program was moved
from Kids Place to JES. She worked for special services until 2008, and
she began working at Johnson Elementary School two years later in the
“Getting the call from Kids Place was
probably my defining moment that led me in this direction. I never would
have thought about working with [this] age group before then,” Akemon
said. “Preschool is now my passion. I love watching my students grow. I
love celebrating their accomplishments, helping them meet their goals,
and seeing their journey on their way to Kindergarten. I give them
structure, routine, compassion, and love.”
As a preschool teacher, Akemon is dedicated to her students and is passionate about preschool and primary education.
wanted to reach them, and help build the foundation of their education.
I believed, and still believe today, that at the elementary level, we
are building the foundation that will hold the infrastructure of
knowledge these students will carry with them their whole lives,” Akemon
said. “That my job as a teacher is to reach every child no matter the
challenge and help them learn.”
Not only did her sister’s
testimony of determination and hard work impact her life, but Akemon’s
students have changed her life and the way she sees the world.
“In the years I have been teaching, I have lost two students,” Akemon said.
of her students, who was 4-years-old, died from complications of
pneumonia, and another 5-year-old student died from a recurrence of
“When I think of both of them, I remember all the things
they taught me about life. I smile at the memories I have of them.
Sometimes, I will have students, and little things that student does
will remind me of them. They are always there in my mind just like many
of my other students,” Akemon said. “I cherish all my students. I
celebrate every accomplishment they make no matter how big or small. I
push them to exceed expectation and grow to their potential.”
The students are not the only ones learning in Akemon’s classroom.
know that when I am standing in front of my classroom, my students are
not the only ones learning. They teach me every day how to see the world
in new ways. I honestly think each and every one of them make me a
better person and a better teacher.”
Akemon is changing her
student’s lives as much as they change hers. With her passion, her
positivity, and her willingness to help her students reach their
potential, Akemon is setting up her students for success. At Scott
County School District 2, Akemon’s story is our story. Your story
matters. You matter.