Mara Pufko, English teacher at Hidden Valley High School, has been selected as the 2008 Roanoke County Educator of the Year during the 74th Annual Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony March 6 at the Holiday Inn-Tanglewood.Pufko
has been teaching for 20 years, the last eight years in Roanoke County.She
holds a Bachelor's of Arts degree from James Madison University and a Master's of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. In addition to her
teacher duties, Pufko
has presented at conferences, sponsored student activities, mentored aspiring teachers and kept abreast of technology.
"I have always held clear in my mind the fundamental importance of encouraging children's critical thinking.Imagine then my delight when a student asked ,Mrs.Pufko
, why do you make us think so much?Why do you answer every question with a question?' It was at this moment that my greatest achievement was actualized.To this day, I work on a daily basis to hear a child ask ,why?' It is then that I know that I have been successful as a teacher and parent," said Pufko
"What makes Mara
so special is how she dedicates herself to forming personal working relationships with each individual student who is in need of support," Stegall added.
is married with two children and lives in Roanoke.