Dr. Anthony J. Amato Scholarship for Future Educators

About Anthony Joseph Amato, Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Anthony Joseph Amato, Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Dr. Amato was born into a large Italian family in Philadelphia in 1921. His parents and three of his older siblings had been born in Italy and spoke not a word of English when they arrived. He and his younger sister were known as the “American” children, and while they spoke both Italian and English all their lives, their parents never truly learned English.

Dr. Amato received his undergraduate degree from LaSalle College in Philadelphia, the first member of his family to receive a degree. He joined the Army during World War II and then studied at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) where he earned his Ed.D. in Education, with a specialty in Elementary Education in 1957. He began his teaching career at the University of Hawaii in the boom years after the war during a severe shortage of teachers at all grade levels there. Many of his students were Japanese Americans, often first-generation Americans just as he was. He mentored many of them and encouraged them to travel East to do graduate work at PSU.

Anthony Joseph Amato, Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) His interest and focus for the rest of his career were in finding the keys to unlock a love of reading in children to help them better understand their own lives and to learn about the world around them, no matter their backgrounds. It was a humanistic approach, using language, books, theater, and even music to broaden the experiences of young children as they learned to read.

Dr. Amato returned to Philadelphia and continued his career at Temple University where he received tenure, served as Chairman of the Department of Elementary Education in the School of Education, and finished a long and distinguished career as Professor of Education. Throughout his career, he was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the professional society of educators. He received a Distinguished Service award in 1982 for his service to education and his leadership in fostering excellence in public education. He himself was a lifetime learner who enjoyed life to the fullest. He always had time to mentor students entering the field of education; and he never forgot his own roots and the challenge of learning English when it is not your “first” language. Dr. Amato always believed the key to success to teaching and to life is the building of excellent public education systems where students of all backgrounds can achieve their full potential. He was enthusiastic and joyous in his life and in his career. Teaching teachers and teaching children were his passions.

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