Carol Pufahl was a passionate educator who chose to share her love of learning with others.
"She loved being an educator and a mentor to other teachers, so they could continue the lifelong teaching and learning process," said her daughter, Kristen Pufahl, of Boston.
Pufahl started her career teaching in her native Brooklyn, after receiving a bachelor's degree from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She took time off to raise her two children - Kristen and son Daniel, who lives in Manhattan. Pufahl then returned to teaching, along the way earning a master's degree in literacy from C.W. Post College of Long Island University and a professional diploma in educational administration from Hofstra University.
On Long Island, Pufahl was a reading specialist in the Harborfields school district, where she received the Educator of Excellence Award from the National Council of Teachers of English in 2002.
Four years ago, Pufahl left Harborfields to begin working in Central Islip schools as administrator for elementary English language arts. She obtained a grant to start the nationally renowned Reading First program, which she also ran for the district.
"We are having a lot of success with it with our kids," said assistant superintendent for personnel Michael Wolpert.
Kristen Pufahl said one of her mother's colleagues once told her about an episode where a fellow teacher was upset and left work saying she was going to quit her job. "My mother followed her home, and sat in her kitchen with her for two hours and inspired her to continue," Kristen said.
"She had a special way of connecting people to each other," said her daughter. "She had an amazing ability to get to know them very quickly."
In addition to her children, Pufahl is survived by her husband, Robert; and her mother, Nettie Pope; sisters, Patricia Rauen and Annette Lydon, and brother, Andrew Pope, all of Staten Island.