Paul Joseph Stankard is an American artist, flameworker (or 'lampworker') and author. Paul J. Stankard was born April 7, 1943, as the second of nine children in an Irish Catholic family. He lived in North Attleboro, Massachusetts in his early years. In his autobiography, Stankard chronicles his early struggles with dyslexia, which made classroom learning difficult. His high school transcripts showed him graduating near the bottom of his class, mistakenly assigned a low IQ score. In the book, Stankard describes the pressure and stigma of being labeled a slow learner by an educational system that at the time was not aware of dyslexia. In 1972 he discovered the concept of dyslexia and started to develop a self-directed learning program that heavily relied on books on tape (audible books). His 50-year learning journey lead to two honorary doctorate degrees and allowed him to overcome his low self-esteem and learning disabilities to become one of the foremost glass artists of his generation.
In 1963 he graduated from Salem County Vocational-Technical Institute (currently Salem Community College), with a technical certification in Scientific Glassblowing Technology. (Later, Salem CC conferred an honorary Associate's Degree in Glass Art.)
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