Pamela J. Aister | Obituary

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Pamela J. Aister joined her beloved daughter, Michelle Mae, on Saturday, October 08, 2022, shortly after she entered hospice care. Born August 13, 1944, in Aurora Ill., she was predeceased by her parents, Ralph John and Eleanor Mae Bentson; his daughter Michelle and his father, Edwin J. Aister, and his “brother-in-law”, Bruce Hansen. Pam is survived by her sister, Cassie B. Hansen; sister-in-law, Patricia Buckley and Shelly’s lifelong love, Brad Stern.

Pam attended West Aurora High School and was a very popular teenager known to her friends as “Bubbles”. After graduating, she attended Stephens College for Women in Columbia, Missouri – no worries, lots of boys at the nearby college! Back in Aurora, she met and married Ed and had Michelle, who changed her life forever, eventually leading her to pursue a teaching degree where she taught in West Aurora School District 129 for 10 years.

After much pressure to join the rest of her family in Arizona, she moved to Fountain Hills in 1990, where after a stint with the Census Bureau, she was hired by Superintendent Walt Dunne to teach at McDowell Mountain Elementary School. , where the “Ace Place” was born.

Pam has started numerous fundraising projects, raising over $50,000 for McDowell Mountain and Four Peaks Elementary Schools. These efforts resulted in the purchase of World Books or Child Craft books in every McDowell Mountain classroom; getting a dozen talking Spinoza bears for children with cancer; provide third-grade reading level books to the Four Peaks School Library; and sending funds, mail and support to local injured service members.

In her 18+ years as a third and then fourth grade teacher, Pam has consistently created innovative learning tools and programs used in the school curriculum. One of them, the Steppingstones Student Character Development Book, was used as a McDowell Mountain School-wide program and was one of the many reasons she received both Arizona and the National “My Favorite Teacher Award” in 2001.

In 2003, she wrote the “Information Scavenger Hunt Unit” for all third-grade classes. This interactive program encouraged community history discovery at the Fountain Hills River of Time Museum and art awareness at the Foothills Art Exhibit and Fountain Hills Sculpture Collection. The program included all third-grade students learning the museum song specially written for their learning experience. The learning experience turned into community outreach when this song, along with other holiday favorites and stories, was presented by Mrs. Aister’s “Aces” (her third grade class) to various groups of the community, including the Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce, Arts Council, District #8, the town’s 20th anniversary celebration and others.

Recognizing Pam’s efforts to teach and engage her students in their community, she and her class were adopted by the Fountain Hills Fire Department for a year through a grant to promote community bonds and knowledge. She also created several Thanksgiving Day floats representing McDowell Mountain School, the student council, Kiwanis, and the Fountain Hills Republican Women’s Club. Pam also used community members and leaders to inspire and enlighten students, teaching them everything from publishing a newspaper and city government operations to the human skeleton and firefighting.

In addition to community members, Pam used the parents for special growth projects – a lawyer mother Ace led a “class court” in the groundbreaking Jack and the Bean Stalk lawsuit; the winner of an origami airplane contest won a flight over Fountain Hills, compliments of an Ace father with stunt pilot friends; firefighter dad Ace taught students the rules of hockey when they won funds for a Coyote field trip. Too long is the list of innovative and creative ideas that Pam has used over the years to enrich her students, motivate the “family of aces” to achieve dreams and goals, engage the community in education, and benefit the school district. to cover.

In her spare time, Pam served as one of Santa’s breakfast helpers, served spaghetti at every museum fundraising dinner, and participated in the Chambers Purple People Forever program.

During her tenure in the Fountain Hills School District, she made a difference in countless lives. Former university students and older are still proud to be known as “ace”, a designation that denotes pride and self-confidence as well as respect and support from others. She was inducted into the Lower Verde River Valley Hall of Fame in 2010 for these contributions.

Hurry, Pam, on your next adventure.

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