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West Island teacher who pioneered robotics program retiring after 42 years


A West Island science teacher with a passion for robotics is retiring this month after four decades serving her community.

Carmen Pallotta pioneered the robot course at Westpark Elementary School in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

"It was something out of the box. It was not something that was clear cut so they had to go with what I envisioned," she recounted.

Pallotta said she's grateful for the school's trust over the years, allowing her to bring students to robotics competitions and even to NASA's headquarters.

And her colleagues are grateful to have worked with her.

"My wife actually went to Westpark Elementary as a student, and Carmen Pallotta was her Grade 1 teacher," Grade 3 teacher Steve Santella told CTV News. "She always says to this day she was her favourite teacher."

Grade 6 English teacher Pina Garrintano describes Pallotta as someone who "never slowed down."

"It was never, 'I'm a senior and you're a new teacher' -- she always approached us a colleague and ready to share," Garritano said.

Forty-two years on the job was not without its challenges -- but Pallotta says it was all worth it.

"Children are resilient and some days are hard, but the next thing you know, you're coming back and you're being hugged by students and that's all it takes."

Watch the above video for the full report (and to learn more about her students' robotic creations). Top Stories

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