Whatever happened to Neal Pascal?
By David Carroll
CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB)- Neal Pascal was a popular meteorologist in Chattanooga for more than 30 years, and until last August was our weekend forecaster here at Channel 3. During the recent snowstorm, many viewers asked, "Where's Neal Pascal?"
He's still talking about the weather; but to a somewhat different audience. He's now a 6th grade science teacher at Lake Forest Middle School in Bradley County. "He's doing a good job," says principal Ritchie Stevenson. "Learning to teach middle schoolers after you've spent thirty years in a totally different career isn't easy. Neal is doing well. He's determined to do a good job, and his fellow teachers are giving him some good tips on classroom management."
In the early 1980s Pascal began a long run as a weather forecaster. known for his sense of humor, he attracted thousands of viewers first on WTVC, and later on WRCB until he made a career change in August 2010.
"You've got to do what you love, and all those years on television prepared me for this job," Pascal says. "I used to go into a lot of schools, but that's very different from being a full-time teacher. It hasn't been easy, but I'm getting there, getting better at it every day."
Using his communication skills, Pascal livens up his class with some lessons in a game show format. he credits his fellow teachers at Lake Forest with helping him learn a new career. He says, "It's not the science, I can do that. But managing a classroom is a whole new skill for me, and sixth graders can be very energetic. But they don't scare me," he says with a smile.
He's just installed a new outdoor weather station at Lake Forest, which he plans to use as a teaching tool. And although he won't rule out a return to television in the future, he says he's enjoying his new classroom assignment. "I could see myself doing this for about ten more years," he says. "I'm too old to think much beyond that!"