By Lorrie Ham
Congratulations to Pam Veilleux, the February Lord Fletcher’s Feature Teacher. Veilleux has spent her entire 22-year teaching career in the . She graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and subsequently earned her master's in education from St. Mary’s University in Winona.
Veilleux has spent the past 13 years teaching art to middle school students at Grandview. Prior to that she taught Title I/Art at Grandview and started her career as an art teacher at Hilltop.
Outside of the classroom, Veilleux was on the Advisory Committee which helped assess the need for in-school child care in the district. She was instrumental in opening the Advanced Art offering which reaches out to students who are gifted in visual arts. Through this program she invited community artists to come in and share their expertise. This opportunity helps make a connection for future artistic professions they may pursue when they graduate.
“I most enjoy the students’ excitement when they are engaged in learning and creating their art works,” said Veilleux. "I am fortunate to see all the students, so I am so lucky to watch many transformations as they move through their middle school years. Art opens the door for many of them and keeps them connected.”
Veilleux has been engaged in fundraising efforts for Operation Smile, Wells for Africa, and currently raising funds for Action for Children Zambia to get children off the streets and keep them safe. She has also co-directed the Operetta at Hilltop and offered Yoga to the students and teachers at GMS. She has offered Art Club; set up various arts displays; entered students’ work in the State Fair, and presents an annual spring celebration for the arts.
“I have a fabulous staff to work with, amazing parents who support me and the students, and an administration that truly values each of us,” said Veilleux.
“Pam is a gifted teacher. She amazes me every year with how she continues to grow and evolve her curriculum to keep it fresh, relevant and engaging,” said Principal Christy Zachow. “She has a huge network of community artists and volunteers she calls upon to help assist in the classroom so that our kids get experience in a wide variety of mediums. She also finds ways to engage the kids in unexpected ways.”
Zachow explained: “This year she found a contact in Zambia at a shelter for children who had been living on the streets. She set up several Skyping experiences and the kids were able to communicate with the children there. Then, in class, she brought in a local artist, Lori Landry to help teach the kids the art of clay. The students created their own pieces and are selling them at our Art Gala as a fundraiser for the students in Zambia. This is a perfect example of how Pam goes above and beyond for her kids. We are so fortunate to have her at GMS!”
Each Feature Teacher winner receives a certificate for a brunch for two at Lord Fletcher’s.