The Dr. Catherine Pedretty Space Scholarship
The Dr. Catherine Pedretty Space Scholarship for Teachers creates special professional development opportunities for teachers currently teaching in the state of Florida, and especially for teachers at Dunedin High School in Dunedin, Fla. It provides a unique opportunity for the selected teacher to travel to Colorado Springs and participate in one of the Space Foundation’s annual week-long in-residence Space Across the Curriculum courses.
The scholarship provides an up-to-$2,500 spending allowance for the following: travel, meal and lodging expenses and full tuition and fees.
The recipient may elect to receive continuing education or graduate academic credit for the course; graduate credit may be applied toward one of several master’s degrees offered by the Space Foundation and partner universities. This scholarship will not be awarded after 2013.
The 2013 winner in Lorraine Lightner, a teacher at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Fla. Find out more here.
Scholarship Honors Lifetime Learner
Funding for the Dr. Catherine Pedretty Space Scholarship for Teachers is provided by her daughter, Janet Stevens of Colorado Springs, Colo., who is the vice president – marketing and communications for the Space Foundation.
A lifetime learner, Dr. Catherine Frazer Partain Pedretty worked as a teacher and guidance counselor in Pinellas County Schools for 38 years and was director of guidance for Dunedin High School at the time of her retirement. Born in 1928 in Birmingham, Ala., Dr. Pedretty grew up in Tennessee. She excelled in the sciences and wanted to become a geologist, but, as was common during those times, she was steered away from a profession “not befitting a girl.” She majored in French and Spanish at the University of Tennessee, graduating with honors in 1949, the same year she married William L. Pedretty, an electrical engineer. She moved with her husband to North Carolina, Texas and then to Florida. While their four children were still young, Dr. Pedretty began working in a non-teaching job for Pinellas County Schools. She returned to school for her teaching certification, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in education from Florida State University. As a guidance counselor, she was most proud of the numerous times she helped young women pursue careers in engineering and science and in the role she played in getting her students accepted into the nation’s military academies. Her husband William died in 1996, after 47 years of marriage. In 2004 she married James Gecoma, who survives her. Dr. Pedretty died in 2010 of pancreatic cancer.
Pictured: 2013 Recipient Lorraine Lightner, a teacher at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Fla., left, and Dr. Pedretty, right.