Local Education Champion Honored with Award
On March 14 Pam Riley Chang was honored by the California Parent Teacher Association (PTA) with the Golden Oak Award, the association’s most prestigious honor. This award recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the welfare of children and youth in a school or community. The award was presented to Chang by Paul Richman, previous executive director of the California PTA, at the Peralta District PTA Founders Day Celebration at the Alameda County Office of Education in Hayward.
Chang first volunteered in Alameda public schools more than two decades ago and has never stopped, even though her children are no longer in school. She dedicated many years to the executive boards of the Island’s PTAs, first at the Bay Farm PTA in the late 1990s and later at the Alameda PTA Council, including serving as President in 2008 and 2009. She also served on the Peralta District (county) PTA executive board in many capacities.
Most recently, Chang chaired the Peralta District PTA “Reflections” program, a state and national student art competition. She also was instrumental in bringing School Smarts, a parent education curriculum, to Alameda schools.
“Pam has been a mentor and supporter to many PTA leaders in Alameda over the years and a tireless volunteer in our schools,” said Page Tomblin, president of the Alameda PTA Council. “No one deserves this award more than Pam.”
Chang is a board member of the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) and chairs its Visual and Performing Arts and Salute to Education committees. She serves on AEF’s executive and fundraising committees and served as secretary for several years. She continues to represent AEF at the Alameda PTA Council.
In addition to her board roles, Chang has worked with Alameda public schools to develop “Art Across the Island,” a revolving showcase of student art and the first of its kind ever in Alameda. More than 1,000 pieces of student art are exhibited in businesses and libraries throughout Alameda through this program every year.
Chang has been an art docent volunteer for 22 years, including 15 at Haight Elementary School where she still volunteers. She developed an art curriculum that introduces children to ceramics, mosaics, printmaking and exposes them to African, African-American, Latino and Filipino art in addition to art from Europe, China and Japan.