After 22 years of teaching English for ATU-Ozark, Tammy Verkamp is retiring at the end of the Fall 2019 semester.
Growing up on a farm in Logan County, Tammy learned early about hard work and responsibility. Her parents, who knew all too well about the dedication and determination it takes to achieve success in life, encouraged her to go to college. As a first-generation college graduate, she earned three degrees from Arkansas Tech University: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and Master of Education in Instructional Technology. She has also maintained her Arkansas Teacher’s License. As a librarian, English instructor, and ADA Coordinator, she believes she works with the best people in the world and hopes that she has been able to give back to Tech, her peers, her parents, and the community through her education and employment.
Through the two decades plus she has been employed at ATU, some of her favorite memories through the years have occurred when helping struggling students overcome the fear of writing or reading. These students leave the course with feeling more confident about themselves and their futures. Tammy also reflected on the colleagues she has worked with, and the lifetime friendships that she has formed with them.
In her downtime, Tammy loves to read, travel, and enjoy her three adult children and six grandchildren who range from age one month to thirteen years. In September 2019, she and her dairy farmer husband, Tim, marked their thirty-eighth wedding anniversary and are planning a trip to France and Germany. After that, they have their sights set on the United Kingdom.
ATU-Ozark Chancellor, Bruce Sikes spoke about Tammy’s time at ATU-Ozark.
“Ms. Tammy Verkamp has served the students of the Ozark Campus in the highest manner. Ms. Verkamp is valued by her peers and students. On behalf of the students, faculty, staff, and administration, we want to thank her for her legacy of teaching and her friendship.”
Pat Ward’s commitment to education spanned a 23-year career as a mathematics instruction. She began teaching at Waldron and is retiring at the end of the Fall 2019 semester from ATU-Ozark.
“I have had an amazing run during my time here at ATU-Ozark,” Ward said. “All my memories are outstanding.”
She reminisced on her long-standing career and what inspired her to pursue education.
“Mrs. Lynn at Rich Mountain Community College in Mena was my math teacher when I started college in my thirties. She saw something in me that I had no idea was there. I come from a family of 10 – seven girls and three boys. My mother completed the 3rd grade, and my father went to the 7th grade.”
She continued, “I never dreamed that becoming a teacher was even a possibility. Mrs. Lynn encouraged me, helped me get a loan, and became my mentor. She told me, ‘We need good math teachers, and you are good!’ She is the reason I am a teacher, and my goal has always been to be another Mrs. Lynn. Hopefully, I have achieved that to some small degree.”
Pat looks forward to doing some activities she enjoys, including hiking, line dancing, reading, spending time with her family.
Chancellor Sikes also spoke about Pat’s time as an Ozark Campus instructor. “I have known Ms. Pat Ward for a number of years prior to her coming to the Ozark Campus. She is diligent in her service to students and has worked tirelessly to assist them with their educational goals. It is an honor to work with Ms. Ward, and on behalf of the students, faculty, staff, and administration, we want to thank her for her legacy of teaching and friendship.”