New teacher shares her passion and heritage with students

B. Patricia Stitt is the new Spanish and General Biology teacher at the Ridgway Area Middle/High School. Stitt originated from Bogota, Colombia where she was a practicing veterinarian for 12 years, and an adjunct biology professor at the University in Bogota. It wasn’t until 2004 that Stitt arrived in the United States and attended Clarion University for teaching. Upon graduation, Stitt began teaching in the Otto-Eldred School District in Duke Center.Stitt now teaches Spanish, levels one, two, and three, along with the Spanish AP [Advanced Placement] program, General Biology for ninth grade and also serves as Spanish Club advisor.Stitt became a teacher because in Colombia while visiting a veterinary colleague who was a professor at the university in Bogota, she was asked to teach a biology class at the university. “I enjoyed teaching the class so much that I decided teaching would become part of my professional life,” Stitt said. “When I arrived in the United States, I immediately enrolled at Clarion University and earned the required teaching certifications for Pennsylvania.”Stitt says Bogota differs from Ridgway because it is a very big city, and it took her some time to adjust to the small town environment. “There are no traffic jams and there aren’t millions of people around you all the time. At first, my husband would take me to New York City or Pittsburgh – just to feel a traffic jam again and to see more people,” said Stitt. “But now, I love the small town environment. It is a great experience to actually have the ability to meet and know all of the people in your community, and I do not like the traffic jams anymore.”In addition to a small community, Stitt enjoys the small school environment where everyone can become acquaintances. “I enjoy the small school environment, where everyone can get to know each other on a personal level,” Stitt said. “Students and teachers work as a team to prepare the students for their present and future goals.”Teaching Spanish to children is rewarding for Stitt. “Seeing the excitement of my Spanish students, when they realize that they can learn and use a second language with their friends, classmates and outside of school is the best part about teaching,” Stitt said. “Another aspect is promoting science as a learning experience that is fun, interesting and necessary for everyday life. I also enjoy helping my students to achieve their goals.”Pick up a copy of the Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.