Attributing her success to the grace of God and the influence of good teachers, P A Arnold is the daughter of a former teacher, Mattie Spear, who taught primarily, though not exclusively, in religious education. They were recognized as Volusia Teacher/Volunteer Team of the Year. One of her early teachers, she would be found at their house swapping recipes with her grandmother after being her teacher in the classroom together that day. Among her best friends were teachers, who became mentors and lifelong friends. She began her professional career at the City Systems of Rockford and Warren Woods, Michigan, in 1960, remaining in this position for seven years. During this time, she also began teaching dactylology and serving as county advocate for the deaf, which she continues to do today. Ms. Arnold then directed the Four-County Center for the Handicapped in Arkansas from 1977 to 1981, a much-replicated model project for ACTION enhanced by more than 500 retired senior volunteers, and taught at Hobbs Municipal Schools in New Mexico from 1981 to 1982.
Ms. Arnold was among of the “pioneers,” who developed the Technology Resources in Exceptional Education (TREE) under the Department of Education, and Britannica grants, and has presented several conferences in her field.
Prior to the start of her career, Ms. Arnold pursued a formal education at David Lipscomb College, now known as Lipscomb University, in Nashville, Tennessee, earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in 1960. She then attended Wayne State University in Detroit, where she received a Master of Arts in 1962. She went on to attain a Master of Science from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1986. In addition to these academic honors, Ms. Arnold is certified in Bible, special education, psychology, speech, mental retardation and emotional disturbance in the State of Florida, as well as previously in the States of Tennessee, Michigan, Arkansas and New Mexico.
Active in her local community, Ms. Arnold served as deaf advisor on the board of directors for the Hearing Society of Volusia County. A prolific writer, she authored “Love Story in Academia,” “Ol’ Time Preacher Man” in 1995, “Little Red Schoolhouse” in 1998 and “Trapezoid of Children” in 1999, and has been published in Instructor and Light for the Deaf. Her book, “Ol’ Time Preacher Man,” was based around her husband, Earl E. Arnold, from the Thanksgiving observance aboard the LST647 off Japan in World War II to assisting in the retrieval of an infant snatched by a non-custodial parent. In a more usual vein, Ms. Arnold and her husband presented at the National Workshop of Christian Workers with the Deaf, and she presented at University of Central Florida’s Site ‘94 Conference.
Outside of her primary thrust, Ms. Arnold maintains involvement with numerous organizations related to her field including the National Educators Association, the American Red Cross, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Volusia Educational Association, the Florida Education Association, the Council for Exceptional Children, the American Association on Mental Deficiency and the National Association for the Deaf. In light of her accomplishments, Ms. Arnold has received myriad honors and accolades throughout her impressive career. A grant winner of Public Welfare and the National Gardening Association, Ms. Arnold received the County Education Science Award in special gardening, among others. The Council for Exceptional Children also recognized her as their Professionally Recognized Special Educator (PRSE).
A prized award comes from a student from Ms. Arnold’s very first class, who phones her the first Sunday of each month saying, “Mom, whatcha doing? I wanted to talk with you!” Furthermore, she was selected for inclusion in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, and Who’s Who in the World.