Bonnie was born August 6, 1942 in Bellevue, Ohio to William and Martha
(Ballard) Berkley. The oldest of five children, she had three sisters: Beverly, Jeri and Julie and one brother, Steve. Bonnie was married for fifty-five years to Gary Pigman who died in 2017. They met while Bonnie was still in high school and had their first date the evening of her Junior Class Play. Gary and Bonnie had two children: Andrea King an intervention specialist at Lorain County Joint Vocational School and Steven Pigman, a retired Naval Commander, who now works for the Federal Government in
Washington, D. C. There are four grandchildren: Ian, Erin, Jack and Analiese.
Bonnie attended Monroeville Schools for all of her public school days, graduating in 1960. At Monroeville High School she was a four year member of band, choir and the Girls Recreation Association (GRA), being a GRA officer in her senior year. She was also in the Pep Band in her junior year. Bonnie participated in the class plays in both her junior and senior years. She was in the college prep club her senior year and was on the Quill Year Book staff both her junior and senior years. During her sophomore year she participated in the District State Scholarship assessments in the area of Social Studies and was also on the Senior Scholarship team. She was the
county essay winner in American Studies in her senior year. She was a member of the Student Council in her junior year. Bonnie participated in intra-mural basketball, softball and volleyball during her freshman, sophomore and junior years.
Bonnie and Gary married in 1962 and she worked at various retail jobs until their children were born. When her daughter, Andrea, entered high school and her son, Steve, was in junior high, Bonnie began her college studies. She continued to work part time. She graduated from Bowling Green State University “Summa Cum Laude” the same year (1980) that her daughter graduated from high school. Her degree was in the areas of Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities, and Severe Behavior Handicaps.
The week after she finished her undergraduate degree she began her Masters of Education program at BGSU with an emphasis on Learning Disabilities and Severe Behavior Disorders. At the time she was working in the Severe Behavior Handicap program for the education of Huron County high school students who had behavioral and/or emotional disorders. Her Master’s thesis was entitled “A Comparison of Contracting and Self-Recording as Behavior Change Procedures with Behavior Disordered Adolescents”. She graduated with her Master’s in 1983. In the next five years she went on to earn an Educational Specialist Degree from BGSU in Special Education Administration (1988).
In 1995 Bonnie was recruited to teach in the high school Severe Behavior
Handicapped Classrooms in an Alternative School for Sandusky City Schools. She taught in this program for five years before being promoted to an administrative position.
Bonnie applied and was accepted into the doctoral program at the University of Toledo. At the same time she was promoted to the position of Principal of Venice Heights Elementary School. Bonnie earned her Doctor of Education Degree in Special Education in May of 2001. Dr. Pigman’s dissertation was a quantitative study of the “Current Status of the Effective Use of Classroom Rules: Without a Plan, You have a Plan; it is a Plan to Fail”.
Her staff nominated her for “Principal of the Year Award” during her first year as principal. After five years in this position she was promoted to the position of Coordinator and the Director of Student Services for Sandusky City Schools. Among her duties was the supervision of the program that provided Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for over 500 students. As director, Dr. Pigman provided leadership and guidance for school psychologists, speech and hearing therapists, occupational and physical
therapists, and fifty plus intervention specialists as well as managing the federal grants for both the school age and preschool special education programs. She held this position for twelve years, retiring in 2007.
Dr. Pigman was an adjunct professor for Bowling Green State University at the Firelands Campus, teaching courses in assessment, special education and early childhood education. Never one to sit still for long, upon her retirement form Sandusky City School, Bonnie also began supervising student teachers during their field experience in Huron and Erie County’s Schools. During this time she worked closely with many veteran teachers to help ensure that the next generation of teachers was ready to become professional educators. She continued to teach, mentor and supervise on the university level until 2013. During that year, Bonnie’s mother, Martha’s health began to decline. Martha was a seventy year plus resident of Monroeville. Bonnie decided to retire again to help fulfill her mother’s wish of staying in her own home during her final years.
Early in her career, Bonnie was chosen as one of the winners of The Norwalk Reflector’s Award in the “My Favorite Teacher” category. Dr. Richard M. Gargiulo, professor at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, included a vignette written by Bonnie entitled “A Look Back; Learning to Live with Learning Disabilities” in his 1985 textbook “Working with Parents of Exceptional Children: a Guide for Professionals”. The closing statement from that vignette reads, “I would ask each professional to consider the family’s needs along with those of the child and to walk in their shoes for just a short moment. Then, and only the, will their assistance be both practical and humane”. Her passion was always and foremost for the field of learning disabilities.
Dr. Pigman was selected to be included in the National Reference Institutes
1987-88 “Who’s Who in American Education”. She would be included in this publication several times. Bonnie selected to be a Jennings Scholar during the 1988-89 school year. In 1988 The Council for Exceptional Children, Chapter 494, and a tri-countyprofessional organization named Bonnie as “Teacher of the Year” for her service and dedication to exceptional children. She was a member of the Sandusky City Schools
Professional Development team, which was honored to receive the State of Ohio’s Distinguished Award for Excellence in Staff Development 1990.
Bowling Green State University’s College of Education and Human Development named Dr. Pigman as their “Accomplished Graduate Award” recipient in 2002. The Mental Health and Recovery Board of Erie and Ottawa Counties selected her to receive the prestigious “Guinn Roller Memorial Award” in 2006 in recognition of her demonstrated dedication and commitment in support of the mission of their board and her significant contribution to children in the field of mental health, alcohol/drug
addiction and related fields.
Over the years, Dr. Pigman has spent many years doing volunteer work with agencies that provide services to the welfare of children. She participated for over a decade on Erie County’s “Family and Children Frist” Board which sought to provide resources for families in need. She was a member of the Council for Exceptional Children for most of her career. For the past eight years Bonnie has volunteered in the kindergarten class for Norwalk City Schools.
Being passionate about helping others to understand learning disabilities and delays as well as assessment procedures and results has given rise to her often being “on-call” to offer assistance to parents who need an advocate or just an understanding ear. Dr. Pigman firmly believes Epictetus, a Greek philosopher’s pronouncement that “Only the educated are free” and she often quotes J.F. Kennedy’s thought that “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education”. She is a firm believer in life-long learning and states she was simply born to learn.