Pace follows passion for teaching in new way

Published 4:22 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2020

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Educators are called into the profession and ending a teaching career is not an option for those who have answered the call.
Lisa M. Pace of Brewton will soon retire from her position as an instructor at Coastal Alabama Community College, but will continue her work as an educator for dog enthusiasts in the area.
“I am soon to retire, but I am not ready to be put out to pasture,’ Pace said. “I want a new challenge. I want to keep teaching, but in a new way and I want to leave a legacy.”
Pace recently completed rigorous training on how to train and understand dogs under the direction of Victoria Stillwell, known for her work on Animal Planet’s hit TV show, “It’s Me or the Dog” and was assisted by her world-class faculty.
Pace has spent the last 25 years teaching history to thousands of students at Coastal Alabama Community College (formerly Jefferson Davis Community College). Over the last decade, she has developed a passion for helping friends, family and former students train their dogs, including advising them about proper nutrition and exercise requirements.
Pace’s enthusiasm for teaching history is only equaled by her love of people and their companion dogs. Nearing retirement from her career in post-secondary education, Pace is transitioning from helping college students gain proficiency in history to training people to interact positively with dogs.
“I want to impact people’s lives in a positive way by strengthening one of the most loving relationships that we can have with another being,” Pace said. “Dogs are so wonderfully kind and giving and they are too often mistreated under the guise of ‘training’.”
Pace has a fur baby that has given her joy and wants others to experience that kind of relationship with the dog members of the family.
“Coco is what dog people call a ‘heart dog’ or ‘a once in a lifetime dog,’” Pace said. “We have a deep love, respect, and need for each other. She came into my life when I lost my Dad suddenly and unexpectedly. I know that is hard for any child, but as an only child, his passing was unbearable at times for me. I needed a distraction and God sent me Coco! She was my joy. She made me laugh with her silly antics and comforted me when I was torn apart. She showed me what dogs are capable of emotionally and intellectually. And how they can adapt, learn, and problem solve. She has a keen mind and is so attuned to my emotions. I’ve never had a dog like her before. She inspired me. I wanted to expand my ability to communicate with her and to teach her and to help her reach her full potential as a learner and to increase my skills as her teacher.”
The rigorous training Pace completed included academic and practical study of dog behavior, skills for training, effective human communication, and business management. The comprehensive course curriculum, featuring multiple learning models, required Pace to engage at the highest level while demonstrating practical experience. Skills assessments were conducted under the tutelage of VSA Faculty Advisor, Tori Ganino of Calling All Dogs in Batavia, NY.
Pace has graduated from the Victoria Stilwell Academy and is prepared to offer group dog training classes and private lessons on a professional basis. All VSA graduates sign a statement pledging to promote, practice and uphold Victoria’s high level of force-free, reward-based, positive dog training methodologies and ideologies in their professional work.
If your dog needs to learn basic manners or displays nuisance behavior, Pace can help. Contact her at
VSA is the premier professional dog trainer educational institution founded by world-renowned pet behavior expert and Animal Planet TV star Victoria Stilwell. Victoria is one of the world’s best-known dog trainers due to her hit TV show It’s Me or the Dog, through which she shares her passion for educating the public about the power of reward-based positive reinforcement training methods and the dangers and ineffectiveness of traditional dominance-based philosophies. Stilwell founded VSA with a mission to educate, engage and inspire future dog trainers and its founding principles reflect her passion for promoting effective, safe and humane training tools and methods by qualified dog training professionals in an otherwise unregulated industry.