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"There is nothing that can replace a dedicated, committed, enthusiastic teacher," says Aoyagi.

After 20 years of being an elementary school teacher, Pamela Aoyagi is one of the ten teachers, administrators and volunteers selected for the 2007 Huntsman Award for Excellence due to their creativity and dedication to their students and education in general. “I have been employed by the Murray School District as a first grade teacher for the past 15 years,” Aoyagi said. “Prior to that, I spent several years at home raising our two boys. Before marrying, I taught first grade in the Granite School District for five years.”

Aoyagi loves teaching children to read. “It opens up the world for them and gives them a sense of empowerment when they can read a book and enjoy learning themselves,” Aoyagi said. “First graders are enthusiastic about learning and are very honest.”

During her time at BYU, Aoyagi had exceptional instructors who were passionate about what they were teaching. “Their enthusiasm, along with a wonderful supervising teacher during my student teaching experience, really set the tone for my own passion for the profession. There is nothing that can replace a dedicated, committed, enthusiastic teacher,” she said.

Born in England, Aoyagi immigrated to the United States and has lived the majority of her life in Utah. She also lived in Wisconsin and in Japan. She is married to Western Aoyagi, also a BYU graduate. Aoyagi enjoys activities with her family. She also likes to read and watch her students participate in after school events such as soccer, baseball, and dance.

November 2007